By: April Carson
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — The parents of a teen accused of murdering four students at a Michigan high school were charged with involuntary manslaughter on Friday, according to prosecutors, who said they should have intervened despite being presented with a drawing and chilling message — “blood everywhere” – that was discovered at the youngster's desk.
According to Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald, Jennifer and James Crumbley committed "reprehensible" actions, including buying a gun on Black Friday and handing it over to Ethan. They also defied his removal from school when they were summoned just hours before the shooting, she added.
“I think that everyone should have humanity and step in to prevent a tragedy if they see one,” she added. “The conclusion I've come to is that there was sufficient cause to believe this individual was dangerous and disturbed.”
Around 1 p.m., authorities said they were seeking for the pair. Sheriff Mike Bouchard stated that their lawyer, Shannon Smith, had agreed to arrange their arrest if charges were filed but had been unable to contact them.
According to WUSA, however, the Crumbleys weren't on the run and had departed the city weeks earlier "for their own safety."
“They are coming back to the location to face charges,” Smith said.
On Friday night, authorities announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the Crumbleys' arrest from the US Marshals.
Previously, the prosecutor provided the most detailed description to date of the events that led up to the shooting, three days after four students were murdered and additional injured at Oxford High School, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, exited a restroom with a pistol and began shooting students in the hallway, according to law enforcement. He's been charged as an adult with murder, terrorism, and other offenses.
In the State of Michigan, if authorities think that someone contributed to a situation where there was a significant risk of death or injury, the involuntary manslaughter charge against the parents may be pursued.
Experts say that in school shootings involving children, parents are seldom charged even though most kids get firearms from a parent or family member's home.
On Monday, a day before the shooting, school officials became concerned about the younger Crumbley when a teacher saw him looking for ammunition on his phone, according to McDonald.
According to the prosecutor, Ms. Dillard was contacted and informed her son in a text message: “Lol. I'm not angry with you. You have to learn not to get caught,” according to the defense.
A note was discovered on Ethan's desk on Tuesday, which prompted a photo to be taken. It was a sketch of a firearm with the words "The ideas won't stop." According to McDonald, it said, "The thoughts won't stop."
She also noticed a sketch of a bullet with the caption, "Blood all over."
Between the weapon and the bullet was a man who had been shot twice, presumably fatally. He also wrote, “My life is meaningless” and “The world is dead,” according to the prosecutor.
Ethan's mother, Nicole, and her employer were also notified of the situation. A meeting was immediately arranged for the family with Ethan and his parents, who were instructed to seek counseling within 48 hours.
The Crumbleys' failure to ask their son about the weapon or inspect his backpack "rejected" them notion that their kid would leave school at that moment, according to McDonald.
Instead, the juvenile returned to school and the shooting took place there.
“The idea that a parent could read those words and know that their son had access to a deadly weapon they'd given him is unjustifiable — it's criminal,” the prosecutor added.
When Ms. McDonald's son was shot, she called him and said, "Ethan, don't do it." After the shooting, Ms. McDonald sent her son a text message saying, "Ethan, don't do it."
The family's phone was discovered by Ethan, who called police to report that their home contained an unlawful weapon. The firearm had been left unattended in a parent's bedroom unlocked drawer, according to investigator McDonald.
On Nov. 26, Ethan went with his father to buy a gun and uploaded photos of the firearm on social media, according to McDonald.
The prosecution read from Facebook posts made by Jennifer Crumbley over the Thanksgiving weekend, in which she wrote about it being a "mom and son day" for testing out his new Christmas present.
The father, who bought the rifle for his son, may be prosecuted by federal authorities if they find that he violated any laws. When asked at a news conference if the dad might be charged with purchasing the weapon for his kid, McDonald said it would be up to federal officials to decide.
In a video address to the community on Thursday, the president of Oxford Community Schools said the high school appears to be a "war zone" and won't be ready for weeks. Superintendent Throne praised students and staff for their composure throughout the crisis.
He promptly addressed the gathering of Crumbley, his parents, and school officials. Throne gave no further information but simply said that “there was no need for discipline.”
When asked why Crumbley was allowed to remain in school, he replied, "We made a mistake."
"Of course, he shouldn't have gone back to that classroom," she continued. "I believe that is a common viewpoint. I'm not going to chastise or attack him, but yes, I believe it's an accepted view."
Officer McDonald was asked if school officials might be charged. “The inquiry is still ongoing,” he said.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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