Jennifer and James Crumbley plead not guilty during arraignment as prosecutors demand the couple are held on $500K a piece – at $1m combined bond.
Jennifer and James Crumbley each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Tuesday rampage allegedly at the hands of their 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley. Each count is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Appearing Saturday morning via video before Oakland County District Court Judge Julie Nicholson, Jennifer Crumbley seemed to be holding back tears as she said she understood the charges against her, and entered four pleas of ‘not guilty.’
James Cromley was more stoic as he calmly said he understood the charges and entered four pleas of ‘not guilty.’ Prosecutors were adamant during James and Jennifer Crumbley’s arraignment that bond should be settled at $500,000 apiece after being identified as flight risks. Lawyers for the couple had sought bond between $50,000 – $100,000.
The couple was arrested early Saturday after eluding authorities for hours after the charges were filed. Police said they were tipped off that the fugitives were hiding out in a commercial building about 50 miles north of their Oxford, Michigan, home.
While rare, it is not the first time parents were charged in connection with a crime committed by their child. Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said she didn’t think the charges against the Michigan parents were ‘unique or unusual,’ claiming the parents did not do enough to stop the tragedy from happening.
Ethan was charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder, terrorism and seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and held without bail. He is due back in court Dec. 13.
James and Jennifer Crambley are scheduled to return to court on December 14 for a probable cause hearing and December 22nd for the in person preliminary examination hearing.