Parents of American teenager Ethan Crumbley, who fatally shot four students in a Michigan high school, do not plead guilty to manslaughter. A few were arrested on Saturday. According to the accusers, the parents had turned off their phones earlier and were hiding from the police.
In Oxford high school, about 55 kilometers north of Detroit, Michigan, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley shot and killed four people. James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the teenage attacker, were charged with manslaughter for failing to protect their son from a gun. The boy’s father bought the gun that his son used in the attack four days before the shooting.
They were hiding in an industrial building
Hours after Ethan Crumbley’s parents were indicted, authorities said the couple were missing and turned off their phones. The freedom of the teenager’s parents, however, did not last long, because on Saturday the police informed about their detention and arrest. Rudy Harper described that they were found on the first floor of an industrial building on Bellevue Street in Detroit, near where their car was located.
Police said someone helped the couple get into the building and that those who let them in may face charges. It added that it was “very likely” that the teenager’s parents had tried to flee to Canada.
Crumbley, 15, had previously been charged with fatal terrorism on four counts of first-degree manslaughter and seven counts of intent to kill. He will be tried as an adult.
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Parents do not plead guilty
Ethan’s parents did not plead guilty at the hearing. The couple’s lawyers were to argue that “their clients intended to bring themselves to justice.” They also denied prosecutors’ accusations that their son had unlimited access to weapons.
A judge in Oakland County, Michigan, set bail at $ 500,000 for both James and Jennifer Crumbley, as it was determined that they would not go back to court of their own free will.
The couple are in the same county jail as their son. However, all three are separated from each other.
A disturbing note on the teacher’s desk
According to the prosecutor, shortly after James Crumbley and his son bought a gun on November 26, the teenager posted a photo of her on social media. “I just got my new beauty – SIG SAUER 9mm” – he was supposed to write under the photo.
According to the prosecutor, the parents handed over the gun to their son as an “early Christmas present” – The facts confirm that Ethan Crumbley had unfettered access to the gun and the parents did not secure it, he said.
Jennifer Crumbley, Ethan’s mother, also wrote about the weapon on social media, calling it “a gift for her son.” According to law enforcement, Crumbley was supposed to take her son to a shooting range the weekend before the tragic events at school. Ethan was also supposed to research ammunition in a school lesson a few days before the shooting. The school authorities then contacted the boy’s parents, but did not respond. According to the prosecutor, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, “I’m not mad at you, you have to learn how not to get caught.”
According to the prosecutor, the morning of the shooting, Ethan Crumbley’s teacher saw disturbing drawings on his desk. Prosecutor Karen McDonald described it as “a drawing of a semi-automatic pistol pointing to the words” Thoughts will not stop, help me “. There was also supposed to be a drawing of the missile with the words “Blood everywhere”.
“There is a drawing of a person between the gun and the bullet who appears to have been shot twice and is bleeding,” the prosecutor said. – Under this character there is a drawing of a laughing emoticon. Later in the drawing there are the words “My life is useless”, and on the right, “The world is dead” – she described.
Ethan Crumbley was removed from the classroom and his parents were called to school. Parents were shown the drawing at a school meeting and told that they had to refer their son to therapy within 48 hours, she said. “Both James and Jennifer Crumbley did not ask their son if he had a gun or where the gun was, and they did not check his backpack for the presence of a gun he was carrying,” she added. Parents left school and Ethan Crumbley returned to class, possibly with a gun in his backpack.
When the news of the school shooting went out, Jennifer Crumbley was supposed to text her son, “Ethan, don’t do this.” James Crumbley called 911 to report that a gun was missing from his home and added that he believed his son could be the shooter.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT / HANDOUT