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James and Jennifer Crumbley trials: Parents of Oxford school shooter set to be sentenced on manslaughter charges

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James and Jennifer Crumbley were convicted of manslaughter in the 2021 Oxford, Michigan, high school shooting.


James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of teenager who killed four people Students involved in the 2021 Oxford, Michigan school shooting are expected to be sentenced to prison Tuesday, weeks after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

They each face up to 15 years in prison. The two men have already been imprisoned for more than two years since their arrest at a Detroit warehouse days after the shooting. Although the parents were tried separately, their sentencing will take place together in an Oakland County courtroom.

LIVE UPDATES: Parents of Michigan school shooter to be sentenced

In separate sentencing memos, prosecutors asked the judge to sentence each parent to 10 to 15 years in state prison, saying the parents showed a “scary lack of remorse.” In particular, the prosecution noted that James Crumbley had made threats against prosecutor Karen McDonald during several jail calls. “There will be retaliation, believe me,” he said in one, according to the memo.

But the parents’ lawyers asked that their clients be sentenced to less than five years in prison each. In a sentencing memo dated April 5, Jennifer Crumbley’s defense attorney asked the judge to give his client credit for the 27 months she has served behind bars and allow her to be placed under house arrest ” under duress” at the home of the defense lawyer. , where it can be monitored.

That way, “Ms. Crumbley could work remotely and begin rebuilding her life” but would not be in the community, the memo said. The memo notes that Jennifer Crumbley is “extremely upset and remorseful” about the shooting and says a sentence between 29 and 57 months would be “more proportional” than what prosecutors are seeking.

In a separate April 5 memo, James Crumbley’s defense attorney said his client had “expressed significant remorse” and sadness for those affected by the killings, and asked the judge to sentence him either to 28 months in prison with credit for time served, as well as with a maximum period of supervision, or 43 months in prison with credit for time served.

The defense also denied that James Crumbley threatened to physically harm the prosecutor, saying he “engaged, at worst, in frustrated name-calling.”

Before the judgment is pronounced, the victims and their families will have the opportunity to speak about the consequences of the shooting.

This conviction represents the end of a dramatic saga that pushed the boundaries of accountability for a mass shooting. Prosecutors used a new legal theory to charge parents with manslaughter, even though they didn’t pull the trigger – first time parents of school shooter have been charged with crimes as serious.

Ethan Crumbley, 15 at the time, brought a Sig Sauer 9mm firearm from home and opened fire at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021, killing four students and injuring six others and one teacher.

His parents were arrested days later and charged with manslaughter for their roles in the murders.

Obtained by CNN

From top left, clockwise: Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Madisyn Baldwin and Tate Myre were killed in the shooting.

At their trials, prosecutors used testimony from shooting survivors, police investigators and school employees to prove that the parents were “grossly negligent” in allowing their son teenager from having access to the weapon and ignoring the signs of his deteriorating mental health.

In particular, the testimony shows that James purchased the gun for his son on Black Friday, four days before the shooting. The next day, Jennifer took her son to the shooting range for target practice. “Mom and son day to try out his new Christmas present,” she then wrote on social media. The parents failed to properly secure the firearm, as James Crumbley hid it in their bedroom but did not use any locking devices, the prosecution argued.

Additionally, the trials focused on a pivotal meeting between school employees, Ethan and his parents on the morning of the shooting. Ethan had been called to the school office after writing disturbing writing on a math worksheet, including the phrases “blood everywhere” and “my life is pointless” and drawings of a gun and ‘a ball.

School employees recommended that parents immediately take him out of class and get him into mental health treatment, but they refused to do so, saying they had work to do. The Crumbleys also didn’t mention the recent gun purchase at school. Then Ethan was sent back to class. About two hours later, he took the gun out of his backpack and opened fire on the school.

Jennifer Crumbley took the stand at her trial and blamed her husband, the school and her son for the shooting, while expressing no regret on her part. “I wondered if I would have done things differently, and I wouldn’t have,” she testified.

In contrast, James Crumbley did not testify at his trial and his lawyer argued that he simply was not aware of his son’s plans or mental problems.

However, Jennifer Crumbley was convicted of four counts of manslaughter in early February, and James Crumbley was convicted of the same charges in March.

In pre-sentence investigation reports included in the prosecution’s sentencing notes, the parents continued to defend their actions.

“I am wrongly accused, and now wrongly convicted, of manslaughter. My actions were those of any other parent,” James Crumbley wrote. He also said he “had no knowledge of what (my son) was going to do, nor did he exhibit ANY warning signs,” and he defended his gun safety efforts. “I followed the law and took gun safety to the point where it was necessary.”

In her report, Jennifer Crumbley sought to clarify her testimony, saying she would not have done anything differently. “With the information I currently have, my answer would of course be extremely different. There are so many things I would change if I could go back in time,” she said. “I never imagined he would hurt other people the way he did.”

The parents’ defense attorneys argued the charges had no legal justification, but appeals courts upheld them.

Ethan was sentenced last year to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to terrorism causing death, four counts of murder and 19 other related charges. He did not testify at his parents’ trials because his lawyers said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right to silence.

CNN’s Celina Tebor contributed to this report.

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