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Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect are returning to area to face charges, lawyers say

Mike Martindale and Robert Snell, The Detroit News on

Published in News & Features

PONTIAC, Mich. — The lawyers for the parents of the Oxford High teenager charged in Tuesday's school shooting said Friday that James and Jennifer Crumbley are returning to the area to be arraigned on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

The Oakland County Fugitive Apprehension Team was searching Friday for the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old sophomore charged with first-degree murder of four students and other criminal charges, after county Undersheriff Mike McCabe said the couple had stopped responding to their attorney.

"On Thursday night, we contacted the Oakland County prosecutor to discuss this matter and to advise her that James and Jennifer Crumbley would be turning themselves in to be arraigned," lawyers Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman told The Detroit News. "Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges."

"The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports."

James and Jennifer Crumbley of Oxford were named in criminal warrants Friday, with each being charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of four Oxford High School students who were allegedly slain by their son. They also were named in a noon news conference held by Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald to announce the charges.

Their case is charged in 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills, and an arraignment was tentatively set for 4 p.m. Friday.

 

“Their attorney had assured us that if a decision was made to charge them, she would produce them for arrest,” McCabe said Friday.

That agreement with attorney Smith was sometime in the morning, McCabe said around 2 p.m. Friday.

“Our last conversation with the attorney was that she had been trying to reach them by phone and text, and they were not responding,” he said.

McCabe said Fugitive Apprehension Team officers were out searching for the couple as of midafternoon Friday. The Crumbleys own a 2021 black Kia Seltos with the license plate DQG5203 and a 2019 white Kia Soul Station Wagon with the license plate DZH8994, according to the sheriff's office and Secretary of State records.

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