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Parents of Michigan shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley appear in court


The teary-eyed father of accused Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley could be seen mouthing “I love you” to his wife during a preliminary hearing Tuesday — as the pair will remain locked up while lawyers review a “staggering” amount of evidence.

James and Jennifer Crumbley each face four counts of involuntary manslaughter as accessories to their son’s first-degree murder case and were ordered held on a $500,000 bond each after being taken into custody.

The couple’s lawyers said they expect to file a motion to reduce the bond in about a week.

Tuesday’s court appearance is their first since they pleaded not guilty to the charges during a virtual arraignment before a judge.


The pair is being held separately from each other and their 15-year-old son.

Prosecutors said they still “have a lot of work to do” before holding a “probable cause” hearing to determine if the case will move ahead.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said her office has some 500 pages of documents and 40GB of data that has been presented to defense lawyers.

James and Jennifer Crumbley glance at each other during their court appearance on Tuesday.
James Crumbley is escorted out in the 52nd District Court.
James Crumbley is escorted out in the 52nd District Court.

“The volume of discovery in this case is staggering,” McDonald said.

“We anticipate being ready to present the preliminary exam in February,” she added.

McDonald said she anticipates calling 15 to 20 witnesses for the hearing.

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Defense lawyers asked for time to review the documents.

The Crumbleys were led into the courtroom in shackles, with James Crumbley in black prison garb and his wife wearing maroon.

Jennifer Crumbley listens to her attorney Shannon Smith while she appears in 52nd District Court for a probable cause conference in the case of the Oxford High School mass shooting December 14, 2021 in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Jennifer Crumbley listens to her attorney Shannon Smith during her court appearance on Dec. 14, 2021, in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Jennifer Crumbley leaves court after Tuesday's hearing.
Jennifer Crumbley leaves court after Tuesday’s hearing.

Both wore masks and did not speak — other than to answer “Yes, your honor” twice when questioned by Oakland County Judge Julie Nicholson.

The case was adjourned until Feb. 8.

The couple is represented by a high-priced legal team headed by Shannon Smith, whose past clients have included disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Ethan Crumbley has a court-appointed lawyer.

Ethan Crumbley
Ethan Crumbley is charged with four counts of first-degree murder.
Oakland County Sheriff’s Office

In court Tuesday, Smith told the judge she did not anticipate a conflict of interest by her office representing both parents in the case.

“Your honor, we have gone over this extensively with our office and with our clients,” Smith said. “At this time there is not a conflict. We have addressed a potential conflict, how that could arise. We don’t anticipate that’s going to happen.”

Ethan Crumbley is charged with four counts of first-degree murder, terrorism and assault with intent to commit murder in the Nov. 30 mass shooting at Oxford High School.

Four students were killed and seven others wounded before Crumbley was arrested.

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The teen was ordered held at an adult facility after his arraignment last month, but his lawyers on Monday petitioned to have him moved back to a juvenile facility.

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