OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Oakland County Prosecutor is playing hardball revealing startling new evidence in a battle over bond for Jennifer and James Crumbley. They are spending Christmas and New Year’s inside the Oakland County Jail in separate cells charged with involuntary manslaughter.
They are asking 52nd District Judge Julie Nicholson to reduce their bond from $500,000 each to $100,000. Prosecutor Karen McDonald has filed a brief with a mountain of evidence to keep the bond the same and to keep them locked up.
Their 15-year-old son Ethan is charged as an adult with murder and attempted murder in the Oxford School shooting that happened on November 30. He’s also held in the Oakland County Jail in a separate section with no bond.
Exhibit A in the motion against the bond reduction is a picture discovered by a teacher drawn by Ethan the morning of the shooting. The teacher took the picture of the drawing. The parents were called to the school for a meeting. It was altered when the meeting took place. Jennifer and James Crumbley were shown the original picture that had drawings of a gun, a student shot twice and the words, “the thoughts won’t stop, my life is useless, help me and blood everywhere.”
The altered picture had much of that scratched out and new words were written that included, “a video game this is, I love my life so much, we are all friends here, harmless act, and OHS rocks.”
James and Jennifer Crumbley refused to take their son home. This was about two hours before the shooting.
The newly revealed evidence in the motion says the parents knew Ethan was depressed, was fascinated with guns, searched ammunition on his phone the day before, and had been seen watching violent videos of shootings the morning of the shooting. Prosecutor McDonald writes to the judge, “All they had to do was tell the school that they recently purchased a gun for their son, ask him where the gun was, open his backpack, or just take him home.”
The prosecutor says the evidence is the handgun was kept in an unlocked cupboard in their home. They had bought it for their son for Christmas.
The prosecutor says Jennifer was having an affair and told her boyfriend she had the gun in her car. That man could be called as a witness in the case.
The prosecutor says the parents live “minutes” away from the school, “1.4 miles from the school” “less than a 5-minute drive” to locate “their son’s gun”
After the mass shooting hit the news at 1:37 pm, James Crumbley called 911 to say his son may have done it and a gun was missing.
Prosecutor Mc Donald also says the Crumbleys are a greater flight risk now than when they were caught December 3rd hiding out in a Detroit warehouse for hours. The prosecutor counters Defense Attorney Shannon Smith who told the media their clients were coming in for arraignment.
The prosecutor tells the judge that the defense, “omits the fact that the defendants had 4 cell phones when they were found.” The evidence is, “they turned off their cell phones and purchased two additional burner phones” or throw-away phones. And that the parents “attempted to destroy one of the phones” before being arrested after a long manhunt.
The prosecutor reveals new evidence that the parents were $11,000 behind on their house payments, their house is for sale, they sold their horses. Also, that Ethan’s “only friend moved at the end of October, the family dog died, and Ethan had sent “his mother disturbing texts.” Those were not detailed in the court document.
The prosecutor also reveals Ethan “was torturing animals.” That he left the head of a baby bird “in a jar on his bedroom floor” and later took it to school and “placed in a school bathroom.”
The prosecutor says the parents “spent their time at the barn” caring for their horses 3-4 nights a week and that Jennifer was having “extramarital affairs.” The prosecutor writes in the motion, “Instead of paying attention to their son and getting him help, they bought him a gun.”
District Judge Nicholson has set January 7th for a hearing on bond.
Prosecutor Mc Donald concluded in her brief if the parents bond out, “it’s possible, even likely they’ll go separate ways.”