Artist who housed the Crumbleys “hadn’t heard of the accusations,” lawyer said


A lawyer for the artist linked to a couple in Oxford Township whose son is accused of shooting classmates and shooting said on Sunday his client was only trying to provide a place for friends who said they received death threats.

Clarence Dass described Andrzej Sikora, a 65-year-old artist and Polish immigrant, as unaware that his friends had been charged with a crime or been the subject of a manhunt last week.

Following:Who are the Crumbleys? Recordings, messages give insight into the family

“They knew he had a studio in Detroit and they wanted to put some distance between them and Oxford because of the death threats,” Dass said. “They called and asked if they could stay with him for a while, and he met them in his studio on Friday afternoon. When he left to get home around 5 pm, he told them to shut themselves up with them… He had no idea that they were planning to spend the night there.

The couple did not appear on Friday for manslaughter related to the shooting allegedly committed by their son on November 30 and lost sight of each other, leading to a multi-agency manhunt for them.

“He hadn’t heard anything about the charges or the press conferences or really anything about what was going on until the next day,” Dass said. “When he heard about it on Saturday morning, he immediately called the Detroit Police, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and my law firm.”

James and Jennifer Crumbley were arrested at the warehouse studio in the 1100 block of Bellevue early Saturday by Detroit Police, who had been advised by the building owner that there was a vehicle matching the description of the one sought inside its fenced parking lot.

Following:How the parents of the Oxford suspect escaped authorities

Dass said he was setting up an interview this week with detectives to discuss his client’s relationship to the incident. A statement released Sunday evening by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the interview would take place on Monday afternoon.

“He offers his full cooperation,” said Dass. “There is no way he will obstruct justice or harbor fugitives. He was just temporarily giving them a place where they felt safe and could figure out what they were going to do next.

Dass said Sikora and the Crumbleys met on a ski trip several years ago and Jennifer Crumbley provided marketing services for her artwork.

Ethan Crumbley, 15, is being held in Oakland County Jail without bond and faces charges of terrorism causing death, four counts of first degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to kill and 12 counts possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

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