Parents of the shooter who committed a deadly massacre at Oxford High School in Michigan, James and Jennifer Crumbley, entered "not guilty" pleas to four counts of involuntary manslaughter after their arraignment in court.
The two were arrested at night as they were hiding in Detroit. Before their capture, the authorities had been searching for them for hours.
This was after they failed to turn themselves in during their scheduled arraignment.
During the arraignment, their lawyer was seen fighting back the tears. She assured the court that they would be coming back after detectives claimed they were trying to find the couple.
Nevertheless, they did not turn up as expected, and the U.S. Marshals Service became part of the team that was looking for them.
Eventually, the couple was captured by the Detroit Police Department after a business owner called 911 on them after seeing them in their parking lot. Jennifer was standing close to a car, and after she fled on foot, both of them were found in a commercial building.
However, when they were caught, they were arrested without incident.
According to Detroit Police Chief James White, the two appeared to have gotten help while getting into the building. Consequently, the person who helped them might face charges.
The person might face aiding and abetting or obstruction charges, but the prosecutor will have to determine if that will be necessary.
White also claimed that it was "very likely" that the two were trying to escape to Canada.
The two seemed to have been hiding in the building. According to the authorities, it did not look like the two had any intention of surrendering when they were caught.
Before their capture, the Marshals Service had offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to their arrests.
When they were finally prosecuted, the judge ordered that they be held on a $500,000 bond and submit to drug testing and GPS monitoring if they met the bond. The couple was also asked to give up any weapons in their possession to the sheriff's office.
The two are in jail in isolation, as well as their son, Ethan.
Authorities noted that none of them seemed suicidal, but they were still doing suicide watches on the three family members.
Jennifer Crumbley's lawyer, Shannon Smith, claimed that her client and her husband were not fleeing as everyone was thinking. Smith argued that the two planned on turning themselves in on Saturday morning, which is a claim the Oakland County prosecutor rejected.
Both Smith and Mariell Lehman, Jennifer and James Crumbley's lawyers respectively, claimed that the prosecution was distorting specific facts to try and put the blame on the couple. In a statement, they claimed that we all wanted to pick out something that gives us answers, such as the charges being made in this case.
The $500,000 bond was issued in court with the argument that there was no guarantee that the two could be expected to come back to the court on their own.
The two parents face four counts of involuntary manslaughter after their 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley, allegedly used his father's handgun to kill four people and injured seven others. The county prosecutor argues that the parents could have stopped the murders.
The prosecutor also argued that the two parents had every reason to consider him dangerous. The couple was taken into custody after warrants were issued for their arrest.
Jennifer's lawyer claimed that she had tried several times to reach the couple but was unsuccessful.
But according to the sheriff, the fact that the two fled while ignoring their lawyer made the charges against them more serious because "they cannot run from their part in this tragedy."
The lawyers of the two argued that they had left town for their safety on the night of the tragic shooting, which means they were not fleeing from law enforcement.
However, the sheriff responded by saying that his office was unaware that the two were coming back for their arraignment. The authorities also claimed that they did not know where the two were.
Before they went missing, they withdrew $4,000 from an ATM in Rochester Hills.
The prosecutor talked about a shocking and worrying note Ethan Crumbley drew hours before carrying out the attack. The drawing prompted a call to his parents from the school.
The prosecutor pointed out that while their son entered the school and committed the murders, his parents had responsibility for the events that took place on the day the shooting happened.
When James Crumbley bought the pistol on November 26, his son Ethan was with him. The teenager then shared pictures of the gun on social media, "Just got my new beauty today."
His mother, Jennifer, also shared a social media post about testing the gun out with her son.
Following the incident, officials at the school got in touch with his parents. However, his parents did not respond.
Her mother, however, texted Ethan, saying, "lol, I'm not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught."
On the day of the shooting, Ethan's teacher saw the shocking note on his desk. The note was a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointed at the words, "The thoughts won't stop, help me."
Another part of the note had a drawing of a bullet with the words "Blood everywhere" above it. Between the two drawings was another drawing of someone who appeared to have been shot twice.
The drawing also had a laughing emoji. The note also had the words "My life is useless" and the phrase "The world is dead."
Due to the note, Ethan was removed from the classroom, and his parents were called. The teen, however, altered the drawing before the counselor could get it.
When the parents finally met, they were shown the note and asked to get their son counseling within 48 hours. The parents, however, did not ask him if he had his gun with him, and they failed to check his backpack to confirm the possibility.
Therefore, when the two left the school, Ethan likely got back to class with the gun still in his backpack.
As soon as they heard about a shooting at the school, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, saying, "Ethan, don't do it." His father called 911 to report a missing gun and said he believed that his son was the shooter.
Later, the authorities discovered that James' semi-automatic gun was kept in an unlocked drawer in his bedroom.
According to the prosecutor, involuntary manslaughter is the "strongest possible charge" they could make against Ethan's parents.
The couple is being charged with believing that they contributed to the serious crimes their son committed. There is also an intention to send a message to gun owners, who have to be more responsible with the weapons under their care.
Ethan is being charged as an adult. He is charged with one count of terrorism causing death.
Other charges he faces include four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 11 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
After his arraignment, he entered a not guilty plea.