James Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley, and Ethan Crumbley

Father Of Michigan High School Shooter Found Guilty Of Involuntary Manslaughter

Home / News / Father Of Michigan High School Shooter Found Guilty Of Involuntary Manslaughter

By Afouda Bamidele on March 14, 2024 at 9:15 PM EDT

The father of Ethan Crumbley, the sophomore student who shot up a high school in Michigan in November 2021, has been found guilty on all four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

James Crumbley was found guilty by the jury just weeks after his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, suffered a similar fate in relation to their son's heinous crimes.

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Father Of Michigan High School Shooter Guilty Of Involuntary Manslaughter

Booking photos of accused high school shooter Ethan Crumbleys fugitive parents after they were found hiding in warehouse

A day after deliberations, James was found guilty on all 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter. April 9 has been set as the day of his sentencing, the same as that of his wife.

The jury found the patriarch negligent for disregarding warning signs exhibited by his son that could have potentially nipped the devastating event in the bud. According to prosecutors, James went as far as to purchase a gun for his son just days before he used it at Oxford High School in the Detroit suburb of Oxford Township.

It also didn't help that Jennifer during her testimony, pointed accusing fingers at her son's father, saying he bought the gun and hid it from her.

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James Crumbley Had This Strategy For His Trial

Fugitive parents of accused high school shooter Ethan Crumbley being searched for by police and US Marshals

Weeks before the trial, it was reported that James' lawyer, Mariell Lehman, planned to prevent him from enduring the same fate as Jennifer. Lehman reportedly planned to portray James to the jury as a sympathetic person.

Lehman's plans to throw out the charges were truncated after the judge refused his request to block entries from Ethan’s writings from being admitted as evidence.

Also, the judge classified Ethan's psychological records as privileged, meaning the defense could not use them to show that the convicted teenager did not inform his father about his mental issues.

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However, Lehman managed to score one victory when the judge decided to increase the number of peremptory challenges, or strikes, that the defense and prosecution could use to dismiss potential jurors whom they deemed unfavorable.

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Why Were The Crumbley Parents Charged For Their Son's Shooting?

Booking photos of accused high school shooter Ethan Crumbleys fugitive parents after they were found hiding in warehouse

It is highly uncommon for parents to be charged in connection with their children's crimes. However, James and Jennifer were the exception because the investigation revealed that the disgraced parents could have played a major role in preventing their son's atrocity.

Per reports, Jennifer seemingly downplayed an incident where her son was caught searching online for ammunition at school just a day before he opened fire and killed four students in the process.

She reportedly even told Ethan she was "not mad" at him and advised him "to learn not to get caught." Her perspective was reiterated during her trial where she spoke about Ethan's struggles with his mental health and how she never considered therapy.

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When asked if she would do things differently, Jennifer declared she would not change a thing.

In addition, the couple refused to remove their son from the school on the day of the incident after they were called in when Ethan was caught with several drawings of guns and bloodied people.

Ethan Crumbley Serving Life Sentence: 'I Have Done Terrible Things'

School Shooter's Mother Jennifer Crumbley Found Guilty In Historic Verdict

While James and Jennifer will learn of their fate next month. Their son Ethan was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

He pled guilty to four counts of first-degree murder, a count of terrorism causing death, and 19 other charges related to the deadly massacre. Despite being a minor at the time the crime occurred, the judge imposed a maximum sentence rather than opting for a minimum term of 25 to 40 years in prison under state law.

Ethan's sentencing made him the first minor to be sentenced to life without parole after a 2012 US Supreme Court ruling deemed such a measure unnecessary for young criminals. During the trial, Ethan took accountability for his actions, telling the court:

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"I am a really bad person. I’ve done terrible things that no one should ever do. I've hurt many people, and that’s what I’ve done, and I’m not denying that, but that’s not who I plan to be."

All About The Michigan High School Shooting

On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, tragedy struck at 12:51 local time at the Oxford High School in Oxford Township.

Mike McCabe, the Oakland County Undersheriff, revealed that "the whole thing lasted five minutes," with Ethan firing approximately fifteen to twenty shots during the attack.

Officers were able to arrive at the school "within minutes" to take Ethan into custody and he reportedly didn't resist, only asking for a lawyer.

Four students — Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, and Justin Shilling — died as a result of the shooting. They were all Ethan's classmates, with the oldest being 17 and the youngest being 14. Seven people were also injured in the process, including a teacher.

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