His parents had already left town before their son, Ethan Crumbley, was charged with a violent rampage at Oxford High School.
Although James and Jennifer Crumbley were apprehended days later after a half-day search that concluded in Detroit early Saturday morning, the circumstances surrounding their arrest have aroused debate in Oakland County.
The husband and wife were not to be located hours after Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald charged them with involuntary manslaughter for their “egregious” participation in the school shooting that killed four kids and injured seven others, including a teacher.
The United States Marshals Service Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team, in collaboration with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, posted a $10,000 reward late Friday for information leading to the arrest of both suspects.
The Oakland County sheriff and prosecutor were left scrambling to explain Friday how the alleged shooter’s parents, who were known to be under investigation, could have avoided law enforcement.
The Crumbleys, on the other hand, had left their little northern Oakland County home only a few days before. They looked to be in a car during their video appearance during Ethan’s arraignment on Wednesday.
That day, Ethan Crumbley was charged as an adult with four charges of murder and numerous other offenses, and he was transferred from a juvenile detention camp to the Oakland County Jail.
“The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety,” stated the couple’s lawyers, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman. They didn’t specify where the pair had gone.
McDonald said on Thursday that she will make a charging decision the following day.
Smith and Lehman phoned the prosecutor’s office and informed them that the Crumbleys would be in court for arraignment.
McDonald stated at a press conference on Friday that she spoke with the parents before filing the criminal complaint.
“These parents are in deep grief,” she said. “But the facts in this case are so egregious.”
Prosecutors claim Ethan committed the atrocities using a pistol he received for Christmas from his father on Black Friday, only four days before the assault. They said his mother posted on social media the weekend before the shootings about spending time with her son at the gun range.
Meanwhile, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office voiced disappointment on Friday that it had not been told of the accusations ahead of time.
According to Undersheriff Mike McCabe, the media was the first to learn about the couple’s arrest on Friday. It was unclear if the pair had been surveilled before or after search warrants were issued on the family’s house on Tuesday night, hours after the incident.
“This is, honestly, the first time — I’ve been sheriff 21 years — where charges have been announced before we had someone in custody,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard told CNN on Friday. “We were absolutely ready. We anticipated we would get a heads up like we always do and we would activate our team to go out looking for somebody if charges were imminent or charges were anticipated.”
He claimed his agency had just learned that a charging decision was approaching and had not placed the pair under surveillance since doing so would have taken them out of the inquiry.
“The prosecutor’s office doesn’t arrest people,” McDonald stated Friday night.
McDonald said that a day and a half before Friday’s press conference, she asked an assistant prosecutor whether the police had “eyes” on the parental suspects. She said she was notified by police that the Crumbleys were located.
“They will be apprehended, one way or another,” McDonald said Friday.
Even on Friday morning, counsel informed the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office that the pair would be in court for their arraignment, which was set for 4 p.m.
Concern grew as Friday morning turned into Friday afternoon with no news from the pair. McCabe said that the Crumbleys were no longer responding to their counsel.
The sheriff’s department found that they had departed by 3:30 p.m. and issued a press release requesting aid in identifying them or their cars.
“The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges,” according to Sheriff Michael Bouchard, the release said. “They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”
The family’s attorneys insisted that they were not on the run and would return.
They did not do so. According to authorities, they were apprehended in the early hours of Saturday at a place on Bellevue Street on Detroit’s east side after a car related to them was located.
According to his lawyer, the Detroit artist who runs the studio where Ethan Crumbley’s parents were apprehended had no knowledge the pair remained overnight.
Andrzej Sikora, 65, had a “friendly relationship” with James and Jennifer Crumbley, but was unaware of the involuntary manslaughter charges filed against them on Friday – the same day the couple showed up at his workplace, according to attorney Clarence Dass.
“There was a lot of confusion and the Crumbleys went to him for safety,” Dass told the news service.
“He didn’t know about the charges. They were there in the daytime. He left in the early evening. He didn’t even know they were still there,” the lawyer said.
The artist has not been charged and is scheduled to be examined by police on Monday afternoon.
Source by [author_name]