Suspected Oxford High shooter, parents all lodged at same jail but separate, officials say

Sheriff says lodged family members not allowed to communicate

James Crumbley (left), Ethan Crumbley (center) and Jennifer Crumbley (right) are all being lodged at the Oakland County Jail over charges in connection with the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School. Mug shots provided by law enforcement. (WDIV)

PONTIAC, Mich. – All three people who have been charged so far in connection with the fatal Oxford High School shooting are related and jailed at the same facility.

Police say Ethan Crumbley, 15, opened fire at the high school in Oxford, Michigan on Nov. 30, fatally shooting four fellow students and injuring six others and a teacher. The teen, a sophomore at the school, was arraigned on Dec. 1 and is being charged as an adult with the following:

  • One count of terrorism causing death,
  • 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.

Crumbley was initially lodged at a juvenile detention facility in Pontiac, but was moved to the Oakland County Jail following his arraignment. A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of the teen, who was denied bond.

Since his arraignment, Crumbley has been in isolation at the jail -- so it is unlikely that he knows his parents are being held in the same facility, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

On Saturday, Ethan Crumbley’s parents were arrested and arraigned for their alleged role in the mass shooting. The Oakland County Proescutor’s Office is accusing James Crumbley, 45, and Jennifer Crumbley, 43, of contributing to the shooting, charging both of them with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

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

The parents were supposed to be arraigned on Friday afternoon, but appeared to skip town. They were eventually arrested at a commercial building on Detroit’s east side following an hourslong manhunt.

The defense attorneys for James and Jennifer Crumbley say the couple was “never” fleeing prosecution and had every intention of appearing in court for their arraignment. Officials have said that the parents’ evasion of law enforcement on Friday tells a different story.

More: Police chief: Wanted parents hiding in Detroit building ‘not indicative’ of turning themselves in for Oxford shooting charges

During a news conference Saturday afternoon, Sheriff Bouchard said that Ethan, James and Jennifer Crumbley are all being lodged at the Oakland County Jail. However, they are reportedly not allowed to have any contact with one another.

Bouchard said that the Crumbleys will never be allowed to talk, communicate or interact in any sense, and that will remain the case indefinitely. All three of them are in isolation at the jail and are under constant watch, with deputies checking in on them several times an hour, according to the sheriff.

The accused had all been placed under suicide watch, as people typically are in severe cases like these, Bouchard said, but none of them reportedly indicated any desire to hurt themselves.

James and Jennifer Crumbley have been issued a $500,000 bond each, no 10%. If they post bail, they will be required to wear GPS tethers, turn over all of their firearms to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, in addition to complying with several other stipulations.

Sheriff Bouchard said that the lodged family members are not communicating much with law enforcement regarding the shooting.

More: Sunday Read: Everything we know about Oxford High School shooting -- timeline, charges, evidence, more


About the Author:

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