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Wednesday May 29, 2024

Parents of Michigan school shooter to be sentenced in rare US case

Parents’ defense teams argued, among other points, that it was impossible for mother and father to envision their son would carry out a mass shooting

By Reuters
April 10, 2024
Jennifer Crumbley looks at her husband James during their sentencing on four counts of involuntary manslaughter in Pontiac, Michigan. — AFP/File
Jennifer Crumbley looks at her husband James during their sentencing on four counts of involuntary manslaughter in Pontiac, Michigan. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: The parents of a Michigan boy who shot and killed four classmates are set to be sentenced on Tuesday after juries convicted them of manslaughter, a rare case of parents being held responsible in a school shooting.

Jennifer and James Crumbley, who were tried separately this year, both face up to 15 years in prison in connection with the 2021 shooting their son, Ethan, carried out.

Ethan Crumbley was 15 at the time of the shooting at Oxford High School. He pleaded guilty in 2022 to four counts of first-degree murder and other charges, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in December.

Prosecutors in the trials of both Jennifer Crumbley, 46, and James Crumbley, 47, said the parents were criminally negligent for providing a gun for their child as a Christmas present and for ignoring signs his mental health had deteriorated and that he was potentially violent.

The parents’ defense teams argued, among other points, that it was impossible for the mother and the father to envision their son would carry out a mass shooting.

The United States, a country with persistent gun violence, has experienced a series of school shootings over the years, often carried out by current or former students. The Crumbleys were the first parents to be charged with manslaughter in a child’s school shooting.