Video: Arraignment for parents of suspected Oxford High shooter

James, Jennifer Crumbley facing involuntary manslaughter charges

The parents of the suspected Oxford High School shooting have each pleaded not guilty to four involuntary manslaughter charges brought against them for their alleged role in the mass shooting.

The parents of the suspected Oxford High School shooter were arraigned on involuntary manslaughter charges Saturday morning for their role in the tragedy that left four dead, seven wounded and a community rattled.

James Robert Crumbley and Jennifer Lynn Crumbley are each facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter after police say their son, Ethan Crumbley, 15, killed four students Tuesday, Nov. 30 at Oxford High School. The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office issued the charges against the couple on Friday.

Both James and Jennifer Crumbley pleaded not guilty to all four counts of involuntary manslaughter on Saturday.

This live stream has ended. You can watch the entire arraignment in the video player above.

Details here: Parents of Oxford shooting suspect plead not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges

The charges against the parents were issued Friday, and Judge Julie Nicholson approved a warrant to take the pair into custody.

The couple was initially set to be arraigned Friday afternoon, but they could not be located by police, who believed the Crumbleys fled town. The pair’s lawyers said the couple had left the area for their own safety following the mass shooting.

Detroit police located the Crumbleys at a warehouse overnight Friday where they were reportedly hiding. The couple was arrested without incident and handed over to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, who is leading the investigation into the Oxford High School shooting.

More: Police: Parents of Oxford shooting suspect hid in Detroit warehouse amid manhunt


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Details emerge in court

During Friday afternoon’s court proceedings, Oakland County Lt. Tim Willis provided details about the potential involvement of both James and Jennifer Crumbley.

He said Jennifer Crumbley received a voicemail from the school Monday after a teacher saw Ethan Crumbley looking up ammunition during class.

“Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages about the incident with her son, where she stated, ‘LOL I’m not mad. You have to learn not to get caught,’” Willis said.

Both parents were called to the school at 10 a.m. Tuesday, just three hours before the shooting, to discuss a concerning note and drawing a teacher found on their son’s desk.

“The morning of the shooting, Ethan Crumbley’s teacher came upon a note on Ethan’s desk, which alarmed her to the point that she took a picture of it on her phone,” Willis said. “The note contained the following: a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointed at the words, ‘The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.’ In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet: ‘Blood everywhere.’ Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is the drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that figure is the drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the drawing are the words, ‘My life is useless,’ and to the right of those words are, ‘The world is dead.’”

According to Willis, the parents were told to get Ethan Crumbley into counseling within 48 hours, but they resisted the idea of their son leaving school at that time.

“Both James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to ask Ethan if he had his gun with him, or where his gun was located, and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun,” Willis said.

Willis said that when news of the active shooter at Oxford High School became public, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son at 1:22 p.m., “Ethan, don’t do it.”

At 1:37 p.m., James Crumbley called 9-1-1 to report that a gun was missing from his house and he believed his son might be the shooter, according to authorities.

“Further investigation revealed that the Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun purchased by James Crumbley was stored, unlocked in a drawer in James and Jennifer’s bedroom,” Willis said. “The gun recovered from Ethan Crumbley after the shooting was the same gun that was purchased by James Crumbley on 11/26/21 in the presence of Ethan.”

The shooting left four students dead and seven people injured, officials said. Ethan Crumbley is facing four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is being charged as an adult.

Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old charged in the Oxford High School shooting. (WDIV)

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.