Michigan Shooter's Parents James And Jennifer Crumbley Sentenced

Michigan Mass Shooter's Parents James & Jennifer Crumbley Sentenced To 10-15 Years

Home / Breaking News / Michigan Mass Shooter's Parents James & Jennifer Crumbley Sentenced To 10-15 Years

By Favour Adegoke on April 9, 2024 at 12:38 PM EDT

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the Michigan shooter, Ethan Crumbley, have been sentenced after a lengthy court trial.

The couple have made history as the first parents of a school shooter to be convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection to their son's crimes.

The mass shooter, Ethan, was already convicted last year and is presently serving life in prison.

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James And Jennifer Crumbley Sentenced

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

Earlier this year, James and Jennifer Crumbley were found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter by separate juries. The pair sought mercy from the judge before their sentencing, claiming that they had no idea that their son was planning to shoot up Oxford High School.

Defense attorney Shannon Smith said in a court filing that Jennifer is "not a threat to the community." She added at the time that "Putting Mrs. Crumbley in prison does nothing to further deter others from committing like offenses."

James' lawyer, Mariell Lehman, also argued that the judge should take into consideration the almost two and a half years he spent in jail since the couple's arrest. The duo both previously served jail time as they were unable to post their $500,000 bond.

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During the sentencing, which took place on April 9, the judge reflected on the achievements of the four slain students and recognized the victim statements that were read earlier in the day. The judge admitted that she "prayed" about this case and considered the possibility of rehabilitation and the penalty for the actions conducted by the Crumbley parents.

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Taking into account the nature of the offense, the judge sentenced Jennifer Crumbley 10-15 years with the Michigan Department of Corrections with credit for 858 days. She may not have any contact with the victim's families as a result of the judge's ruling and will issue more information about the contact she may have with her son at a later date. James Crumbley also received the same sentence. They have also been charged to pay various fees in addition to their lengthy prison sentence.

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Prosecutors Said The Mass Shooter's Parents Showed No Remorse For Their Actions

James and Jennifer Crumbley
Twitter | Brettkast

Ahead of the sentencing, prosecutors informed the judge via memo that the Crumbleys were not "remorseful" for their actions,  per USA Today.

It comes after the couple asked the court to be lenient with their sentencing. Jennifer sought credit for the 27 months she had already served behind bars and requested house arrest for the remaining years. On the other hand, James asked the judge to consider two options: either 28 months in prison with credit for time served and maximum supervision or 43 months in prison with credit for time served.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors claim that such a sentencing would be a "slap in the face to the severity of tragedy caused by [their] gross negligence." They requested that each parent be sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison.

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Why James And Jennifer Crumbley Were Charged

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

The Crumbley's guilty verdict marked a rare legal conviction, given that charging parents for a child's crime is highly unusual. However,  many details in the investigation revealed that James and his wife could have done more to prevent the incident.

As part of the reports, it is believed that Jennifer downplayed an incident involving her son being caught searching online for ammunition at school just a day before he carried out the act. She reportedly even told Ethan she was "not mad" at him and advised him "to learn not to get caught."

Furthermore, James and Jennifer were said to have refused to have their son removed from the school on the day of the incident after they were called in urgently when Ethan was caught with several drawings of guns and bloodied people.

It was also noted that James, who bought the gun, did not properly keep the weapon, leaving it in an unlocked drawer that was easily accessible to Ethan. Ultimately, this was the key issue that drove the foreman in his case to convict him.

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The Couple Maintained Their Innocence

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

Despite the verdict, the Crumbleys continued to defend their actions as per pre-sentence investigation reports included in the prosecution's sentencing memo, per CNN.

James claimed that he was "wrongly accused" and is now "wrongly convicted of involuntary manslaughter."

He further noted that he only did what any other parent would have done and "had no knowledge" that Ethan would go on a rampage.

With regards to carelessly keeping the gun, he claimed that was untrue, noting that he "followed the law and took gun safety to the point as needed."

Meanwhile, Jennifer had earlier taken the stand and said she would not have done anything different. However, she clarified her statement following the conviction, saying, "With the information I have now, of course my answer would be hugely different."

Still, she showed no sign of accepting any blame, going on to say she "never imagined [Ethan] would hurt other people in the way that he did."

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Ethan Crumbley Is Serving A Life Sentence In Prison

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

As for James and Jennifer's son, he pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, and 19 other charges for his gun rampage at Oxford High School in 2021.

During the trial, he spoke briefly to the court and took responsibility for his deadly actions while promising to become a better person in jail.

"I am a really bad person. I've done terrible things that no one should ever do," Ethan said, per NBC. "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."

In December last year, he was then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Despite being a minor at the time the crime occurred, the judge imposed a maximum sentence for him rather than opting for a minimum term of 25 to 40 years in prison under state law.

He became the first minor to be sentenced to life sans parole after a 2012 US Supreme Court ruling deemed such a measure unnecessary for criminals under that age.

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