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The parents of a student accused of killing four students at his Michigan high school should be banned from making romantic gestures to each other as they face trial on involuntary manslaughter charges, prosecutors have said.
In a motion filed with the Oakland County District Court, prosecutors said that James and Jennifer Crumbley had mouthed 'I love you,' waved at each other and made other non-verbal signals during virtual and in-person court hearings, telling a judge the couple were making a 'mockery of the crimes they're accused of committing.'
The parents were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter following investigations into the November 30 shooting at Oxford High School, with court documents accusing the couple of making a firearm available to their 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley, who then used it to kill four students and injure seven others, including staff.
They are also accused of ignoring troubling behaviour in their son and failing to remove him from school on the day of the shooting when counsellors showed them images drawn by him depicting acts of violence.
Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor David Williams said that relatives of the victims had been asking why the couple had been allowed to make gestures to each other during the court hearings.
According to NBC, Williams said that allowing communication between the couple served to 'disparage the integrity of the judicial proceedings as a serious distraction' and could be 'traumatic for the family members of the deceased victims who are no longer able to express their love to the victims.'
'The courtroom is not a place for blowing kisses and sending secret signals. This is a time for families to pursue justice,' the motion read.
The Crumbleys have pled not guilty to the charges against them, with their lawyers stating they had never expected 'that a school shooting would take place, or that their son would be responsible.'
The parents remain in custody after a judge refused to reduce their bond from $500,000 each, citing the seriousness of their alleged crimes and their failure to turn themselves in when they were charged in December. Their preliminary examination is set to take place on Tuesday, February 8, per ABC.
Their son is expected to plead insanity to charges including murder. He remains in custody with no date set as yet for his trial.
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