A judge has denied a request to lower a $500,000 bail set for two parents who are charged with their son in a fatal Michigan school shooting.
The Detroit News reports that a judge has denied their bid to lower their bond to $100,000 total for the couple. When arguing for their request, the Crumbley’s attorney, Mariell Lehman told the judge that they’d agree to wearing ankle monitors. They were charged with involuntary manslaughter in December after their son allegedly killed four of his peers at Oxford High School in Michigan.
District Court Judge Julie Nicholson justified her decision with the fact that the Crumbleys failed to turn themselves in to authorities, the enormity of their crimes, and because they have family in Florida, which might mean they could flee again.
Defense attorneys Shannon Smith and Lehman also fired back at Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald, who, in a late December filing, said that James and Jennifer Crumbley ignored their son’s needs. Smith and Lehman argued that it was going to be tough for McDonald to prove gross negligence on the parents’ part. The Crumbleys have been accused of purchasing the gun that their 15-year-old son Ethan allegedly used in the shooting.
“In Ethan’s journal, which was provided in discovery, he explicitly states that he has to find where his dad hid the firearm,” Lehman said. “That statement, from Ethan Crumbley in his own words, is kind of contrary to the false and misleading assertions that have been made by the prosecution in this case, the assertions that the firearm was freely accessible.”
In that late December filing, the couple were also deemed to be at “a greater risk of flight.” In her latest presentation, McDonald backed up those claims again, describing how the Crumbley’s circumstances were suspect as they allegedly have few connections in their Michigan community, emptied out Ethan’s bank account, and attempted to evade authorities in Detroit.
“These are not the actions of people who are trying to turn themselves in,” McDonald said. James and Jennifer pled not guilty to their charges, as did Ethan, who’s been hit with murder and terrorism charges.
Ethan is charged as an adult with murder and other crimes. Earlier Friday, the 15-year-old waived his right to a key evidentiary hearing and moved his case to the trial court in Oakland County.