MONDAY NEWS HIT - As the fallout continues to unravel for the small Oakland County community of Oxford, the teen gunman at the center of the tragedy that sparked an outpouring of grief and sadness will make his next court appearance today.
Ethan Crumbley is expected to appear before a judge around 1 p.m. for a procedural hearing. Monday's hearing is meant to prepare for a probable cause conference on Dec. 20, when a judge will determine if there's enough evidence to send the teen suspect to trial.
Crumbley, who is charged with murder and terrorism, has been locked up in Oakland County jail since his arrest Nov. 30. It's possible that the case could be put on hold if his attorney seeks a mental competency exam.
"In a case like Crumbley, the primary topics addressed would likely be: the exchange of discovery and the timing of that exchange; whether the preliminary examination will proceed on the scheduled date, whether it will be waived, or whether it will be adjourned to a new date; and bond," a spokesman for the Oakland County prosecutor's office told the Associated Press.
On Sunday, Oxford community members held a March For Our Lives event, where residents spoke at a park pavilion and eulogized their friends and family that were injured or lost in the shooting.
"My classmates and I were never supposed to see the look on my teachers face when we heard the shooting," said Ava Wilson, an Oxford High School student. "I was never supposed to text my mom at 12:51 p.m. ‘I love you’ and then my 15-year-old brother at the high school ‘are you okay, I need you to respond.’ Never did I think this would happen here, but it did."
Held at Centennial Park, healing activities like chalk art, meditation, music, and donated meals were all part of the vigil.
Crumbley's parents, James and Jennifer, are being held at the same jail as their son, but in separate cells. They've each been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and are expected to be in court for a hearing on Tuesday.
$400 auto refund checks expected by early May
When will auto insurance refunds be available to Michigan drivers? According to the governor, all refund checks will be issued to drivers no later than May 9, 2022.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said last week that Michigan drivers would receive $400 checks for every vehicle they own that's insured in the state. The money will come from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA), which reported a billion-dollar surplus. The refunds are part of bipartisan-passed legislation that was signed in 2019. If a resident had a vehicle insured as of 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2021, they will receive a refund.
The money is scheduled to be transferred by the MCCA to insurers by March 9. From there, checks will be issued through mail or ACH deposit. "Michigan used to have the highest auto insurance rates in the nation, but we worked together to put Michiganders first, significantly lowering the cost of insurance and putting $400 per vehicle back in driver’s pockets while continuing to provide access to the most generous benefits in the nation," said Whitmer.
The details of the refunds were published in a bulletin released by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
Shirley Bryant, 63, dead after assault near church
Shirley Bryant's family says that after fighting for her life, the 63-year-old grandmother passed away on Dec. 6. Police say that suspect Elvin Shepard and another man had a conversation with Shirley before she was physically and sexually assaulted. She was left for dead outside a vacant church when a stranger heard her crying for help. She was found naked.
"These monsters just took my mom away from me… for no reason," said Diwann Bryant, Shirley Bryant's son. "I know you've got a mother. I know you've got sisters and brothers. And you hit my mama like that? It's terrible."
"How in the world could you do a human being like this," said Diana Edgar, Shirley's sister. "I promised her before she closed her eyes for good that I would do everything in my power to see that justice was taken."
Police Chief James White said he is certain that this was not random. Investigators are still working the case. Police told FOX 2 that the person of interest is expected to be charged. It is also very possible that Shepard's charges will be upgraded to murder. Shirley Bryant's family has organized a GoFundMe to help as they say a final farewell to the woman they adored.
Family of child wounded by gunfire relocating
A 4-year-old was the victim of a seemingly random shooting at a Detroit home on Dec. 5. When police responded to the scene, it was discovered that Kylei was the only person that had suffered injuries. She was taken to a nearby hospital in a patrol car.
Kylei's mom said the bullet entered through her pelvis, then it exited through her side and struck her elbow. She is currently in stable condition and recovering well. Police told FOX 2 that they are still investigating and no one is in custody at this time.
The family lives on the upper level of a duplex on Woodingham. The mom's sister, Kylei's aunt, lives on the lower level. They don't know why someone would shoot up their homes, but they are looking for a new place to live.
"Who wants to return to a home like that with your children," said Kylei's mom. Kylei's mom and aunt started a GoFundMe to help raise money for their relocation.
Gas prices fall another 6 cents since past week
Michigan gas prices continue to fall since reaching annual highs this year when motorists were paying nearly $50 for a 15-gallon tank of gas. Gas prices are down 6 cents for a gallon of regular unleaded gas.
It's fallen about 22 cents since last month but remains more than a dollar higher than this time last year. According to AAA, prices are about $8 higher for a 15-gallon tank of gas than when they were highest in January.
Energy analysts saw a strong week for oil futures and have seen stability to a recently-rising marketplace. However, some upward pressures from Mexico reporting they may not have as much oil to export next year, which could push supplies down. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases are still wreaking havoc on the global economy.
Compared to last week, Metro Detroit's average daily gas price fell slightly to $3.29 per gallon.
What else we're watching
- Some 26,000 DTE customers and 14,000 Consumers Energy customers are still without power after strong winds swept through Michigan this weekend and created more issues for utility companies after a brutal year of outages.
- After a library's plea to the public, a priceless and historic map has been returned to the building, which is located in Shiawassee County, Michigan. The Durand library expressed their thanks for the return on its Facebook page.
- Monroe County, Wixom, Rochester Hills, and Shelby Township are all the beneficiaries of grants that will fund projects designed to improve mobility around a city. The money comes from SEMCOG.
- Wayne County Sheriff's deputies will be pulling people over with a little holiday surprise awaiting the drivers. In partnership with Leaders Advancing & Helping Communities and Kroger, the officers will be handing out gift cards to the grocer.
- James Craig will be making campaign stops in Detroit, Flint, and Lansing Monday as part of his rollout of his education platform. It's called LEARN - Leading Education Achievement Reform Now
Live on FOX 2
There's going to be near-record warmth this week as an unseasonably warm December looks to reach the 60-degree threshold. That's expected to arrive Thursday while the warm-up will begin on Tuesday.
Fauci: Americans may 'just have to deal with' more COVID boosters
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that Americans will "just have to deal with" the prospect of getting more coronavirus booster shots.
Fauci made the statement on Sunday morning and said that the level of protection that the current coronavirus booster shots give to individuals will have to be monitored closely over the next several months.
"If it becomes necessary to get yet another boost, then we’ll just have to deal with it when that occurs," Fauci said.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director also said that he's "hoping" that a third mRNA shot will give longer-lasting protection.
"I’m hoping from an immunological standpoint that that third shot of an mRNA and the second shot of a J&J will give a much greater durability of protection than just the six months or so that we’re seeing right now," Dr. Fauci said.