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Jailed parents of 15-year-old alleged Oxford High School shooter to seek lower bonds

These undated photos provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office show James Crumbley, left, and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, who is accused of killing four students at Oxford High School in Michigan.
Oakland County Sheriff's Office via AP
These undated photos provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office show James Crumbley, left, and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, who is accused of killing four students at Oxford High School in Michigan.

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the accused Oxford High School shooter, appeared in shackles in an Oakland County district court for their first post-arraignment hearing on Tuesday.

The elder Crumbleys are accused of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors say that's because they gave the gun used in the November 30 shooting to their 15-year-old son as a gift, and ignored signs of his disturbed mental state.

Ethan Crumbley later killed four of his classmates with the gun, and injured six other students and a teacher.

His parents were arrested in a Detroit-area warehouse on December 4, after a manhunt by Oakland County law enforcement and other agencies.

At the hearing, attorneys for both sides agreed to postpone the preliminary exam for the two, since there remains a large amount of evidence that has not yet been gathered by law enforcement.

Preliminary exams are hearings to decide if there is enough evidence for a case to move forward.

Both parents are being represented by the same attorneys, a potential conflict of interest. District Court Judge Julie Nicholson directed the attorneys to notify her if a conflict arises in the future.

Attorneys representing the couple also plan to ask the judge to reduce their $500,000 bonds. A hearing for the bond reduction request was scheduled for January 7 at 1:15 p.m.

All three Crumbleys are in the Oakland County Jail, but officers say they do not have access to each other, and the alleged shooter is also separated from adult inmates.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.