Parents of Michigan School Shooter Sentenced to 10 to 15 Years in Prison

by State Brief

The parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley have been given the maximum sentences for their role in their son’s attack. 

James and Jennifer Crumbley were the first parents to face criminal charges in connection to a mass shooting carried out by their child in the nation’s history. Although they were tried separately, the pair were sentenced together in Oakland County on April 9.

Each was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison for four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews’ sentence went above the guidelines of 29 to 57 months. 

These convictions confirm repeated acts or lack of acts that could have halted an oncoming runaway train, about repeatedly ignoring things that make a reasonable person feel the hair on the back of their neck stand up,” said Matthews while addressing the Crumbleys, per CNN.

“Opportunity knocked over and over again and was ignored,” said the judge. “No one answered.”

Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in February. At her trial, the prosecution argued that she was grossly negligent and that she failed to tell the school she and her husband had given their son a gun despite being called into the school to discuss his mental health issues.

Phone records show that when news of the attack at the high school broke, Mrs. Crumbley texted her son, “Ethan, don’t do it.” 

Her lawyers have said they plan to appeal.

James Crumbley was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in March. His legal team had fought to prevent the jury from seeing his son’s texts and journals. The foreperson at the trial told reporters that the journal had a significant influence on their unanimous decision. Mr. Crumbley reportedly bought his son the gun used in the shooting less than a week before the attack.

Ethan Crumbley killed four students – Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17 – during the November 2021 shooting at Oxford High School. A teacher and six other students were also injured. Crumbley was 15 years old at the time.

He pled guilty to 24 charges and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Parents of the victims addressed the Crumbleys during the sentencing and rejoiced in the verdict.

“I think it was appropriate,” Steve St. Juliana, Hana’s father, told The Detroit News. “I’m very happy the judge made the statement she did and made the determination to give them the max. It’s time to wake up and take responsibility.”

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