(DETROIT) – The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old who authorities say killed four classmates at his Michigan high school, are still in jail after a judge gave them each a $ 500,000 bail for manslaughter in connection with the shooting.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were taken into police custody early on Saturday after they failed to surrender on Friday afternoon for a scheduled arraignment, which resulted in an hour-long search for the couple. They remained in the Oakland County Jail on Sunday and did not post bail, jail records online show.
The couple were captured in Detroit after a business owner called 911 after spotting the suspects’ car in their parking lot and Jennifer Crumbley standing next to it, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. She fled the area on foot, but the couple were located in a commercial building in an art studio after a thorough search of the area.
They were “helped into the building,” Detroit Police Chief James White said at a 3 a.m. press conference on Saturday, adding that it was “very likely” that they were trying to flee to Canada. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said his office would present potential charges to the DA’s office against the person who allegedly helped them gain access to the building.
The 65-year-old Detroit artist, whose studio Jennifer and James Crumbley were in hiding as they allegedly fled authorities on Friday, maintains his innocence in their movements that day, his attorney, Clarence Dass, told ABC News .
Andzrej Sikora’s lawyer told ABC News on Sunday that the Crumbleys came to Sikora on Friday morning, the day the county brought manslaughter charges against the couple in the Oxford school shooting . The Crumbleys knew Sikora through a ski club, Dass said.
Dass declined to describe the interaction on Friday morning and declined to comment on whether Sikora gave the couple the keys to the Detroit building that houses his studio. Sikora was unaware the couple were facing charges in the shooting, saying he “knew what was going on” but was not following the news closely, Dass said.
When Sikora woke up on Saturday and heard the news of the Crumbleys’ overnight arrest, he went to the Detroit Police Department and told them he was the studio owner, Dass said. Authorities then directed him to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, where he provided information on what he knew, before hiring Dass as a lawyer.
Sikora has not been arrested and no charges have been filed against his client, Dass said, but he did not rule out the possibility that authorities could indict the artist this week.
Each parent faces four counts of manslaughter for what authorities say was a failure to properly secure the gun that was used in the shooting. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On Tuesday, the morning of the shooting, an Oxford high school teacher saw a note on Ethan Crumbley’s desk with a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing to the words: “Thoughts won’t stop no, help me, ”prosecutors said. . According to prosecutors, another drawing showed a bullet with the words “Blood everywhere” above it and a drawing of a bloody person who appeared to have been shot twice.
Ethan Crumbley was then removed from the class and his parents, who school officials said were “difficult to reach”, were called to the school.
Ethan Crumbley told school guidance counselors the designs were for a video game he was in the process of designing, Oxford Community Schools Director Tim Throne said in a statement on Saturday. His parents did not indicate that they had recently purchased a gun for him and made advisers believe there was no threat of violence, to himself or to others, Throne said.
It’s not clear if the gun was in Ethan Crumbley’s backpack at the time, Throne added. Due to his lack of a disciplinary record, they sent him back to class instead of his home, Throne said. His parents were then informed that they had to ask their son for a consultation within 48 hours.
Hours later, Ethan Crumbley was armed with a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol his father purchased on Nov. 26 as he walked down the hallway, targeting classrooms, the county’s assistant district attorney said. Oakland, Marc Keast, at arraignment on Wednesday. 18 live ammunition remained in the gun when he was apprehended in the hallway, Bouchard told reporters on Wednesday.
Ethan Crumbley was charged as an adult with four counts of first degree murder and seven counts of assault with intent to kill – acts which prosecutors said were premeditated.
Throne requested a third-party investigation to investigate how the school handled the events leading up to the shooting.
“I have personally requested a third-party review of all of the events of the past week because our community and our families deserve a full and transparent account of what happened,” Throne said.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also contacted community schools in Oxford to offer help with the investigation into the shooting and the events leading up to it.
“Our lawyers and special agents are uniquely qualified to conduct an investigation of this magnitude,” Nessel tweeted.
ABC News’ Meredith Deliso, Ahmad Hemingway, Will McDuffie and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.
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