The parents of the teen accused in this week’s deadly Michigan high school shooting pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges Saturday morning, hours after police said they arrested them in a Detroit warehouse following an hours-long search.
A judge in Michigan’s Oakland County set bond at $500,000 each for James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the teen jailed on suspicion killing four schoolmates and wounding seven other people at Oxford High School on Tuesday.
The detained couple, sitting alone in separate rooms, made their arraignment appearance by video conference with the judge, their attorneys and the county prosecutor.
Both spoke little beyond saying they understood each charge – with Jennifer Crumbley appearing to cry between words – and pleaded “not guilty” to each.
During the arraignment, their attorneys stressed their clients had fully intended to turn themselves in before authorities arrested them Saturday morning, and denied prosecutors’ assertions that their son had unrestricted access to the gun he’s accused of using.
James and Jennifer Crumbley had been charged Friday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter over Tuesday’s shooting, and were supposed to attend an arraignment Friday afternoon, authorities said.
But they missed the Friday arraignment, making them fugitives and setting off a search for them, authorities said.
Early Saturday, police said they found the couple on the first floor of an industrial or commercial building in Detroit – some 40 miles south of the Oxford area where they live – after someone tipped police Friday night that their vehicle was nearby.
“They appeared to be hiding in the building,” Detroit Police Chief James White said during a news conference early Saturday. They were “very distressed” after they were detained, the chief said.
White said he didn’t know the Crumbleys’ intentions, but that “this isn’t indicative of turning themselves in, hiding in a warehouse.”
White added someone let the couple into the building, and said that person could face charges.
The Detroit Police Department has identified a person who guided the Crumbleys as they parked their vehicle in the back of the building where they were found, a law enforcement official told CNN.