Parents of Oxford school shooting suspect appear in court

Posted at 7:04 AM, December 14, 2021 and last updated 9:26 PM, May 11, 2023

DETROIT (WXYZ) —James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the Oxford High School shooting suspect, were in court on Tuesday for a probable cause conference.

They are each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting. Prosecutors say they gifted their son the gun he used to kill four classmates – Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling.


The hearing was adjourned so prosecutors and defense attorneys can go through more evidence. A preliminary exam was set for Feb. 8, 2022, and the defense attorneys said they plan to file a motion on bond.

Their son, Ethan, quickly appeared in court on Monday, but had his probable cause hearing delayed until January 2022.

All three are being held at the Oakland County Jail. Ethan’s defense attorney tried to get him moved to Children’s Village on Monday, the juvenile facility, but the judge denied the request.

James and Jennifer were absent from their son’s hearing on Monday.

Their son is being represented by a court-appointed attorney, while his parents have retained high-profile attorney Shannon Smith, whose former client list includes convicted rapist and former USA Gymnastics Coach Larry Nassar.

This booking photo released by the Oakland County, Mich., Sheriff’s Office shows Ethan Crumbley, 15, who is charged as an adult with murder and terrorism for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured more at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., authorities said Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Oakland County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

The judge ultimately denied the attorneys’ request to move their son while postponing the rest of the hearing until after the holidays.

Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Mark Keast said his office has already shared 500 pages of reports and witness statements with the suspect’s defense team, but said there’s an enormous amount of evidence that has yet to be obtained.

In addition to the involuntary manslaughter charges, the parents could also face legal troubles for trying to avoid arrest.

After charges were issued, they could not be found. Eventually, they were found hiding in a Detroit art studio on Dec. 4 when they were supposed to be turning themselves in to police.

This story was originally published Dec. 14, 2021, by WXYZ in Detroit, an E.W. Scripps Company.