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Judge won't lower bond for Oxford school shooting suspect's parents

The Crumbleys' attorneys on Tuesday requested that their bonds be lowered from $500,000 each to $100,000 each.

PONTIAC, Mich. — A judge denied a motion Tuesday to reduce bonds for the jailed parents of a Michigan teenager who is charged in a shooting at his high school that left four students dead.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews said that James and Jennifer Crumbley’s actions before their Dec. 4 arrests in a commercial building in Detroit were meant to conceal their whereabouts.

“The defendants indicate they were devastated when they heard about the alleged actions of their son, felt unsafe in their home, felt hounded by the press and found it necessary to leave,” Matthews said. “The chronology of events that occurred subsequent to the defendants leaving their home is not consistent with cooperation with law enforcement.”

The Crumbleys had disappeared the day before after they were charged with involuntary manslaughter. The parents are accused of failing to keep a gun secure at home and failing to reasonably care for their son when he showed signs of mental distress. They have pleaded not guilty.

“Upon a warrant being issued, law enforcement is not required to make an appointment with a defendant,” Matthews said. “It is the job of the police to ensure a swift, safe and secure arrest. The defendants actions were premeditated to conceal their whereabouts.”

The Crumbleys' attorneys on Tuesday requested that their bonds be lowered from $500,000 each to $100,000 each. They indicated they would appeal Matthews’ ruling on the bond.

“The Crumbleys were absolutely shocked parents who had no reason to foresee what would happen,” defense attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman wrote earlier.

The Oakland County prosecutor’s office opposed a lower bond for the Crumbleys, noting that a similar request was denied by a judge in a lower court.

Ethan Crumbley, who turns 16 next week, is charged with murder and other crimes. Four students were killed and more were injured during a shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30.

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