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Judge declines request to reduce bond for parents of alleged Oxford High School shooter

A bouquet of roses sits on a sign outside of Oxford High School on the day after the school shooting in Oxford, Mich. Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. A 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at the school, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)
Jake May/AP
/
The Flint Journal
A bouquet of roses sits on a sign outside of Oxford High School on the day after the school shooting in Oxford, Mich. Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. A 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at the school, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

A judge has declined a request to reduce bond for James and Jennifer Crumbley.

The parents of the teenager accused of killing four people at Oxford High School last year are each facing a count of involuntary manslaughter for each of the slain victims.

The defense team attempted to have the Crumbleys’ $500,000 bonds reduced to $100,000. That motion was rejected during a pretrial hearing Tuesday.

Judge Cheryl Matthews is presiding over the trial in Oakland County. She said one factor in the decision to uphold the original bond was the court’s view that James and Jennifer Crumbley are potential flight risks, having sold their house to pay legal fees.

“Therefore,” says Matthews, “although the defendants appear to have strong family ties to Florida, the court is not aware of current ties the defendants have to this community.”

Attorneys representing the Crumbleys have claimed the couple’s supposed intent to turn themselves in as a reason for a lower bond. However, Matthews said that argument does not add up.

“The defendants’ alternative view of the chain of events cannot be reconciled,” said Matthews. “The series of actions by the defendants and the resulting manhunt supports the prosecution’s proposition that the defendants were fleeing the jurisdiction.”

“The defendants indicate they were devastated when they heard about the alleged actions of their son, felt unsafe in their home, felt hounded by the press and found it necessary to leave,” Matthews said.

“The chronology of events that occurred subsequent to the defendants leaving their home is not consistent with cooperation with law enforcement.”

“Upon a warrant being issued, law enforcement is not required to make an appointment with a defendant,” Matthews said. “It is the job of the police to ensure a swift, safe and secure arrest. The defendants actions were premeditated to conceal their whereabouts.”

Matthews said she expects James and Jennifer Crumbley’s trial to go forward later this year. The court is planning October 24 as a potential start date.

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