The parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley are attacking Oxford Township Prosecutor Karen McDonald for allegedly filing "inappropriate" charges against them.
In a motion seeking to lower their bonds filed Wednesday, defense attorneys for Jennifer and James Crumbley wrote: "It is clear from the media appearances by Ms. McDonald that this case is one she takes very personally, was filed out of anger and filed in an effort to send a message to gun owners."
Jennifer and James Crumbley are each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after their 15-year-old son killed four people and injured seven others during a shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. The Crumbleys, who were arrested a Detroit art studio following a manhunt on Dec. 4, are seeking to have their bonds lowered from $500,000 to $100,000.
Prosecutors allege the Crumbleys purchased the gun used in the shooting as an early Christmas present for their son, and failed to properly secure it in their home. However, the Crumbleys' attorneys argued in their bond motion that the gun was "in a locked and hidden location," according to the Detroit Free Press.
"The prosecution will not be able to prove that the Crumbleys ... knew their son was a danger to other students, or that they knew there was a situation that required them to take care to avoid injuring another," defense attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman wrote in the motion. "The Crumbleys, like every parent and community member, are devastated by the school shooting. The last thing they expected was that a school shooting would take place, or that their son would be responsible. This situation is entirely devastating."
Jennifer Crumbley sent her son a text message on the day of the shooting saying "don't do it" — a piece of evidence that made international headlines after being revealed by prosecutors. However, the Crumbleys' attorneys argued in the motion that she was referring to suicide, and not a school shooting.
"When Mrs. Crumbley texted Ethan, 'Don't do it,' ... the shootings had already happened, Mr. Crumbley had determined the gun was missing and had notified authorities, and Mrs. Crumbley was texting her son to tell him not to kill himself," the motion states. "They did not know Ethan was a threat to anyone; and they certainly did not anticipate or cause the tragedy that unfolded at Oxford High School."
The motion also alleges that the Crumbleys never tried to flee, and planned to turn themselves in before a scheduled arraignment on the morning after they were apprehended.
“It should be noted that the Crumbleys would not have retained (us) if their plans were to flee,” their attorneys wrote.