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Lawyer: Parents in Michigan school shooting didn't flee

Bob Barney

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Unlike most of the media, I watched the arraignment of Jennifer and James Crumbley, and listened to the prosecutor and the defense attorney, and contrary to what public reaction is (by way of MSM media's continued bending of facts) I came away with the possibility that we have yet another Rittenhouse runaway prosecutor, who could be lying her ass off. 

In open court, in front os a judge, one of the lawyers for Jennifer and James Crumbley, says two parents charged with involuntary manslaughter in a Michigan high school shooting left town for their own safety and NOT trying to flee justice as reported!  She also insisted that both parents were returning to face arraignment, when arrested.

Shannon Smith spoke after authorities said they were searching for the parents of Ethan Crumbley, who is charged with murder and terrorism in the deaths of four students at Oxford High School on Tuesday.  Smith accused the prosecution of presenting "incomplete facts" and creating a "media spectacle" following the announcement of charges against the couple.

"We need an opportunity to fight this case in court and not in the court of public opinion," Smith said.

In a statement to media released Friday, the two lawyers accused the prosecution of trying to "make an example and send a message" in its charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley.

"The prosecution has very much cherry-picked and slanted specific facts to further their narrative to do that. We intend to fight this case in the courtroom and not in the court of public opinion. We know that in the end the entire story and truth will prevail."

Rarely have parents of those that have committed mass shootings also been charged. However, on Friday Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the actions by the parents of Ethan Crumbley were "egregious."

During their arraignment, McDonald requested a $500,000 bond for the Crumbleys after they failed to appear for a scheduled court appearance on Friday, believing the two were at risk for fleeing. It took police some 10 hours to locate the parents after charges were announced.

Their attorneys have taken issue with that characterization, arguing instead the couple were hiding for their safety and had always planned to turn themselves in. "They were never fleeing prosecution, contrary to media reports."

Both attorney's went on to claim that   "That gun was actually locked, so when the prosecution is stating that this child had free access to a gun, that is...absolutely not true," Lehman said Saturday morning during the couple's arraignment.

They also claimed that they texted the prosecutor many times about the parents surrendering and got NO REPLIES! "The prosecutor's office, instead of getting back to us in any way, decided to have a press conference, and as Miss McDonald admitted, try to find a way to act to surprise our clients and catch them off guard when it was so unnecessary," Lehman said. "And last night and throughout the day, we were in contact with our clients. They were scared. They were terrified. They were not at home. They were figuring out what to do. Getting finances in order."

Ahead of the arraignment, Smith and Lehman issued the following statement: "We understand that our clients were apprehended last night, although we fully intended to turn them in first thing this morning for arraignment, contrary to the misinformation that has been rampant in the media."

They continued: "While it’s human nature to want to find someone to blame or something to point to or something that gives us answers, the charges in this case are intended to make an example and send a message. The prosecution has very much cherry-picked and slanted specific facts to further their narrative to do that. We intend to fight this case in the courtroom and not in the court of public opinion. We know that in the end the entire story and truth will prevail."

The four students who died in the shooting are 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin and 15-year-old Justin Shilling.

The Michigan sheriff at the center of the investigation into Tuesday’s deadly Oxford High School shooting said Friday night he was blindsided earlier in the day when the county prosecutor held a news conference announcing charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of the teenage suspect in the case.

"I’ve been sheriff for 21 years," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told "NewsNation Now," "and I’ve never had anyone have a press conference announcing charges before we had the opportunity to have somebody in custody."

Also criticizing McDonald on Friday was Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe, who questioned a reported claim by McDonald that she had been told by an assistant in her office that police had "eyes" on the parents in case they tried to flee.

That McDonald claim simply wasn’t true, McCabe told the Detroit News.

"We didn’t even know they had been charged with anything until we were informed [Friday] morning by the media," McCabe told the News.


My take?  To early to tell, but don't be surprised to find another sham prosecution by a left leaning anti-gun prosecutor looking to score brownie-points!