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James and Jennifer Crumbley request for lower bond denied

Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley, pictured in a handout from the Oakland County sheriff's office when law enforcement were searching for the couple Friday.
Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley, pictured in a handout from the Oakland County sheriff's office when law enforcement were searching for the couple Friday.

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 respectively 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.

“The defendants alternative view of the chain of events cannot be reconciled.” — Judge Cheryl Matthews, Oakland County

Judge Cheryl Matthews is presiding over the trial in Oakland County. She says 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 long claimed the couple’s supposed intent to turn themselves in as a reason for a lower bond. However, Matthews says that argument does not add up.

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

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