Prosecutors recommend at least 10 years in prison for parents of Michigan school shooter

PONTIAC, MI — Prosecutors in Michigan next week will recommend at least 10 years in prison for two parents who are the first in the U.S. to be held criminally responsible for a school shooting.

Jennifer Crumbley showed a “chilling lack of remorse” for her role, and James Crumbley “failed to exercise even the smallest degree of ordinary care” that could have caused the deaths of four students at Oxford High School in 2021 occur, prosecutors said in a court filing. submit on Wednesday.

The Crumbleys, the parents of gunman Ethan Crumbley, were convicted of involuntary manslaughter at separate trials earlier this year. They were not accused of knowing their son’s plan. But prosecutors said they failed to secure a gun at home and ignored his mental health.

The maximum prison sentence for this crime is 15 years. But the minimum sentence set by the judge on April 9 will be crucial because the Crumbleys would be eligible for parole after that time. They will receive credit for the approximately 2.5 years they have spent in the Oakland County Jail since their arrest.

Messages seeking comment from attorneys were not immediately returned Wednesday.

In their filing, prosecutors disclosed that Jennifer Crumbley, 46, hopes to avoid jail and instead be fitted with an electronic connection and live with her attorney, Shannon Smith. They said James Crumbley, 47, also hopes to be released.

“Such a proposed sentence is a slap in the face to the severity of the tragedy caused by the gross negligence of the defendant, the victims and their families,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Keast, referring to Jennifer Crumbley.

On the day of the shooting, the Crumbleys went to the school to see Ethan’s morbid drawing of a gun, a bullet, a wounded figure, and statements like, “The thoughts don’t stop.” Help me.”

Instead of taking their son home, the Crumbleys left with a list of mental health contacts and went back to work. A few hours later, Ethan, who was 15 at the time, pulled a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol from his backpack and started shooting.

School staff had not demanded that Ethan be removed from school. But they also didn’t know that James Crumbley had bought the gun just four days earlier and that it looked like the gun in the drawing, according to trial testimony.

Ethan, now 17, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to murder and terrorism.

During James Crumbley’s trial, the judge banned his use of a phone and tablet while in prison. The sheriff’s department, which operates the jail, said he had made threats, although no details were made public at the time.

In his court filing, Keast said the profanity-laced threats were against Karen McDonald, the elected district attorney. He gave five examples.

“I’m… panicking, Karen. Yes, Karen McDonald. You better be scared,” he said on January 3, according to Keast.


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