Crumbley parents back in court, Detroit mom of 4 loses everything, Maurielle Lue's battle with long Covid

The parents of the alleged Oxford shooter will make their first court appearance since entering not-guilty pleas during their arraignment when they were brought up on involuntary manslaughter charges.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are expected to appear before a judge for a probable cause conference, scheduled in Rochester Hills District Court. Their son Ethan Crumbley had his probable cause conference Monday adjourned until Jan. 7 after his defense team requested more time to review evidence in the case. 

All three are staying separately at the same jail. 

The Crumbley parents were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter days after their son was arrested for allegedly shooting several people at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. The Oakland County prosecutor took the rare move to charge the parents after accusing them of "egregious" conduct for not doing more to prevent their son from endangering others.

In the days following the shooting, Prosecutor Karen McDonald accused both James and Jennifer of failing to intervene on the day of the tragedy, despite being confronted with a drawing and a chilling message reading "blood everywhere" that was found on Ethan's desk.

Instead, after being shown the drawings and told to seek mental health help for their son, they flatly refused before declining to take their son home. McDonald suspects the firearm used in the shooting was in Ethan's backpack at the time.

James and Jennifer Crumbley

Before they were arraigned, a daylong manhunt was underway as law enforcement searched for both James and Jennifer, who had disappeared from their Oxford home prior to the announcement of charges.

They were found early Saturday morning of Nov. 4 inside a warehouse. Their defense team has argued the two were never fleeing but had gone into hiding "for their own safety."

Probable cause conferences are typically scheduled so judges and attorneys can work out relevant details in the case as well as other procedural matters like bond.

Detroit mom of 4 loses everything in house fire

Typically, Christmas presents go under the tree. But for Lastar Jenkins, she doesn't have an answer to where she'll put her family's gifts. The Detroit Health Department contractor lost her home to a west side fire three days after Thanksgiving.

"My daughter's birthday is Christmas Eve, so it’s like even if I did get Christmas gifts, where would they go?" said Jenkins. The 34-year-old and her four kids needed to jump from a window to escape the flames that engulfed the woman's home. "…everything was fire from the living room to the kitchen," she said.

The next day, she was back at work administering Covid vaccines. But a long road is ahead for Jenkins and her kids. The family are staying with Jenkins' sister since the fire. 

"The biggest thing to take away from this is we have frontline heroes that are out here trying to fight against Covid and try to save lives every day, but we also have to acknowledge that we are human as well, we go through things - and that’s what this situation is." TO DONATE: There is a GoFundMe set up to help her HERE.

Cat urine, chronic pain, and extreme fatigue: Maurielle Lue's battle with long-haul Covid

Maurielle Lue was discharged from the hospital seven months ago after recovering from COVID-19. But the FOX 2 anchor is still managing a slew of symptoms that have persisted well past her illness. 

At first, she was confident she'd be able to beat the virus. Endless doctor's appointments were a small price to pay in order to return from isolation. But that rosy perspective soon wilted six weeks after her recovery began. Symptoms she didn't initially experience began to emerge. She was winded walking up the stairs. Her heart would race during low-stress moments. "My Apple Watch would congratulate me for completing a full workout, when all I had done was take a few steps from the couch to the kitchen."

Then the brain fog started and she began forgetting things. She used charts and notes to help jog her memory, but every day was laborious. The self-proclaimed queen of sugar then lost her appetite and had zero sense of taste or smell. "You want to shock your brain? Try eating tomato soup that tastes like hot bananas."

Lue is back at work but is still working through her symptoms. Read about her whole experience here

Oakland County students launch petition to move school virtual

Schools in Oakland County have been left to manage the fallout after one of their districts suffered a tragedy in late November. Hundreds have been tasked with navigating the murky world of online threats amid a tense and scary time for students.

Some are old while some are new, but all threats are taken serious, police say. Still, with lockdowns being reported every day, and some schools including Oxford remaining closed Tuesday due to more threats, thousands of students are pushing to make class virtual

An online petition circulating is calling for all Oakland County schools to go remote until the winter break - or until the threats are addressed. Parents have mixed feelings about the move. "It’s a really tough question on that because I feel like that’s really taking us back from what we had to go through last year," Rachelle Dabrowski said.

"There’s a lot of fear among the students and the kids. That’s legit. Parents as well. I do think these kids need to be live as often as possible for proper learning to occur," Haley Lockwood said.

Hall of Shame: Dirty duct cleaner won't come clean

A peek inside the dusty and dirty world of duct cleaning isn't for the faint of heart. It's definitely nothing that homeowners want to take care of. So when Shayla called a local company with strong reviews, she thought she had locked down a good contractor.

"Just keep it as cheap as possible, that is it," she told the technician from the company, listed as "Nectar." An hour later, she got a bill that was $2,100. And the ducts don't even look clean. When Shayla and her husband went to talk to Nectar, they found an alleyway where the company was listed. 

It turns out, they only exist on the web. April had a similar experience after calling a duct cleaning service out of Highland Park. She was left unimpressed. So was Margie, who called a service out of Dearborn.

At the heart of the bait-and-switch scam was a company called AM Pure. And the man running the operation? His name is Moe. Watch Rob Wolchek's investigation into the dirty duct cleaner here

What else we're watching

  1. The Ford Fund, the automaker's philanthropic arm, is launching a six-month pilot that will serve residents that stay at the Detroit Rio Vista Co-Op apartments, where many lack access to food due to mobility challenges. They'll use an autonomous shuttle to delivery the food. 
  2. Toys for Tots is in full swing at Eastern market Tuesday where Tom Gores typically donates over 7,500 gifts to Detroit children. It'll be his 15th year doing the fundraiser out of Shed 5. 
  3. One year ago today, the first COVID-19 vaccine was delivered. Last week, UPS marked one billion doses of the vaccine delivered around the globe. 
  4. More service improvements are reportedly on the way for Secretary of State branches in Michigan. Secretary Jocelyn Benson will discuss the changes Tuesday at 11 a.m.
  5. A nonprofit in Waterford will hold a fundraiser to help Kentucky tornado victims after high winds pushed a storm through multiple cities, killing dozens. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

Before it warms up, it's going to get a bit frostier in Metro Detroit. Expect temperatures to settle into the 40s with mostly clouds today. After that, temperatures begin to climb Wednesday along with some on-and-off rain showers.

Derek Chauvin guilty plea expected in George Floyd federal case

Derek Chauvin has notified the federal court in Minnesota of a change of plea to charges that he violated George Floyd's constitutional rights. A change of plea hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at the federal courthouse in St. Paul.

The scheduling of the hearing signal that Chauvin intends to plead guilty to the charges.

Chauvin is charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free of unreasonable force by a police officer when he pressed his left knee on Floyd’s neck and held his right knee on Floyd’s back and arm as Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed and not resisting, and continued to do even after Floyd became unresponsive.

What prompted the plea change is unclear. Obviously, it's possible Chauvin and his legal team reached an agreement with prosecutors on the sentence the former officer would face for the federal case.