Parents of Oxford High School Shooting Suspect Plead Not Guilty Hours After Arrest

The parents of the Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges hours after their arrest on Saturday.

James and Jennifer Crumbley pleaded not guilty to each of the four counts against them during a hearing on Zoom, the Associated Press reported.

Judge Julie Nicholson assigned each of them a $500,000 bond, totaling $1 million. She also required them to comply with GPS monitoring, agreeing with prosecutors who argued they posed a flight risk, according to the AP.

The two were arrested in Detroit at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday after initially failing to appear for their arraignment. Law enforcement authorities began searching for the couple on Friday.

Their 15-year-old son Ethan has been charged with first-degree murder and terrorism, among other charges, in a school shooting that left four students dead on Tuesday.

Their defense attorneys said the couple never planned to flee from police and were going to turn themselves in Saturday, the AP reported. They accused prosecutors of "cherry picking" which facts they released.

"Our clients are just as devastated as everyone else," attorney Shannon Smith said.

Smith said they left earlier in the week "for their own safety" and planned to return to face charges, the AP reported.

"Our clients were absolutely going to turn themselves in; it was just a matter of logistics," Smith said.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald accused the Crumbleys of taking $4,000 out of an ATM Friday morning near the courthouse where they were expected to appear later that day, the AP reported.

"These are not people that we can be assured will return to court on their own," she said.

On Friday, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard confirmed they were missing and that the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service were working to locate them.

During a Friday press conference, McDonald accused the parents of failing to intervene on the day of the shooting.

They met with a school counselor after a teacher found alarming drawings on their son's desk that allegedly contained a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words "the thoughts won't stop help me" on Tuesday.

The drawing also allegedly contained a depiction of a bullet and the words "blood everywhere" and a person "who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding."

The picture also contained a drawing of a laughing emoji, McDonald said.

During the meeting, his parents were advised to get him into counseling within 48 hours. They also allegedly failed to ask if he had his gun with him and to inspect his backpack for the gun, McDonald alleged.

He allegedly fatally shot his classmates hours later.

After the news of the shooting broke, Jennifer Crumbley reportedly texted her son, saying "Ethan, don't do it." James Crumbley allegedly called the police to report a gun missing from their home.

A teacher noticed him searching for ammunition on his phone days before the shooting. The school alerted the Crumbleys, but did not receive a response, McDonald said.

"Thereafter, Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages about the incident with her son on that day, stating 'lol, I'm not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught,'" McDonald said.

Ethan Crumbley was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, terrorism, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Oxford School Shooting Parents Plead Not Guilty
The parents of the Oxford High School shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Saturday. Above, police are seen outside the building where they were arrested. Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images