James Crumbley is accused of manslaughter in the shooting of his son

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The jury has begun deliberating in the trial of James Crumbley, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with his son opening fire at his high school in November 2021.
James Crumbley, the father of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, chose not to testify in his trial with the defense resting after only calling one witness Wednesday.
With the jury was removed from the courtroom, James Crumbley was asked questions by his attorney under oath, in which he revealed it was his choice to remain silent, and not testify before the jury.
James Crumbley is facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with a 2021 school shooting carried out by his son.
Four of the shooter’s classmates were killed in the shooting and seven others were injured.
James Crumbley’s wife, Jennifer Crumbley, was found guilty of the same four charges in February.
During her trial, she chose to take the stand in her own defense, getting grilled by prosecutors over how she spent her time in the days and months leading up to the shooting, including extramarital affairs.
During closing arguments Wednesday afternoon, the prosecution argued James Crumbley could have taken several simple steps to prevent the shooting.
“James Crumbley failed to use ordinary care to prevent the death of these four kids,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said in court.
James Crumbley turns to look for family members after it was announced they were present in the Oakland County Courtroom of Cheryl Matthews, Mar.
13, 2024, in Pontiac, Mich. Mandi Wright/APIn her argument, McDonald replayed the 911 call James Crumbley made after news of the shooting had spread and he discovered that a gun was missing from their home.
McDonald pointed out that James Crumbley did not wonder or ask how his son got the gun a single time on the call or in interviews with police.
At one point, McDonald pointed out that she felt school officials had not done enough to prevent the shooting when they found concerning drawings, but argued that does not absolve James Crumbley’s responsibility or ability to prevent the shooting.
The defense argued that James Crumbley did not know that his son would carry out the shooting.
“He had no idea what his son was capable of.
He had no idea what his son was planning,” defense attorney Mariell Lehman told the jury Wednesday.
During the rebuttal, McDonald at one point began attaching a cable lock to the murder weapon, saying it only takes “10 seconds” but could have prevented the shooting.
The Crumbleys are a rare case of parents facing criminal charges in connection with a shooting carried out by their son.
Ethan Crumbley was sentenced to life in prison without parole after he pleaded guilty to 24 counts including first-degree premeditated murder and terrorism causing death.
James Crumbley enters the Oakland County Courtroom of Cheryl Matthews, Mar.
13, 2024, in Pontiac, Mich. Mandi Wright/APBefore the prosecution rested, Brett Brandon, one of the officers in charge of the James Crumbley case, took the stand on Wednesday, testifying about what the Crumbleys were doing during a manhunt for them and how they had groceries delivered to them.
After the parents were charged, they failed to turn themselves in by the deadline set by a judge, and a manhunt ensued until they were found hiding at a Detroit business.
After Brandon concluded his testimony, the prosecution rested and the defense called James Crumbley’s sister, Karen Crumbley, to testify.
She was the only defense witness to be called to the stand.
Karen Crumbley testified to having seen both James and the shooter in April and June 2021 and not having seen or heard anything concerning about her nephew at that time.
She also testified that she did not have any conversations with James Crumbley in which he would express concern over his son during that time.
Karen Crumbley, the sister of James Crumbley takes the stand in the Oakland County Courtroom of Cheryl Matthews, Mar.
13, 2024 in Pontiac, Mich. Mandi Wright/APIn cross-examination, prosecutor Marc Keast used cellphone records to point out that Karen was not particularly close with her brother and did not talk to him that often via the phone or social media, having only spoken on the phone three times and exchanged 22 messages in all of 2021.
She also answered questions about her brother buying a gun for his son.
“If you are getting gun specifically for your child to use at his leisure, that would be wrong.
But with adult supervision, I don’t see any problem with it,” Karen Crumbley said.
During cross-examination, Karen Crumbley testified that if she had seen drawings of a gun from the shooter or if he wrote her “help me” she would have found that concerning, as a mother, and she would have tried to help.
Karen Crumbley also revealed on the stand that when family went to visit James, Jennifer and Ethan Crumbley at their Michigan home in June 2021, James Crumbley had shown the whole family his gun and where he kep

In relation to his son opening fire at his high school in November 2021, James Crumbley is accused of involuntary manslaughter, and the jury’s deliberations have begun.

After the defense called only one witness on Wednesday, James Crumbley, the father of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, decided not to testify during his trial.

James Crumbley confessed that he had made the decision to keep quiet and not testify in front of the jury when his lawyer questioned him under oath after the jury had left the room.

In connection with his son’s 2021 school shooting, James Crumbley is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Seven people were hurt and four of the gunman’s classmates lost their lives in the shooting.

In February, Jennifer Crumbley, the wife of James Crumbley, was found guilty on all four counts. In the days and months preceding the shooting, she engaged in extramarital affairs and other personal matters, and she decided to testify on her own behalf during the trial.

The prosecution claimed James Crumbley could have stopped the shooting by taking a few easy actions during Wednesday afternoon’s closing arguments.

“In court, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald stated that James Crumbley did not exercise ordinary care to prevent the deaths of these four children.”.

When word leaked out that family members were in Cheryl Matthews’ Oakland County courtroom on March 19, James Crumbley turned to look for them. 13, 2024, at Pontiac, Michigan. Mandi Wright, AFP.

During her argument, McDonald played back the 911 call that James Crumbley made when he realized a gun had gone missing from their house and the shooting had become widely known. McDonald noted that during the call and in his police interviews, James Crumbley did not once wonder or inquire as to how his son obtained the gun.

McDonald once stated that she believed school administrators could have done more to stop the shooting after discovering troubling drawings, but she maintained that this did not relieve James Crumbley of his accountability or capacity to stop the shooting.

James Crumbley was not aware that his son would carry out the shooting, according to the defense.

“His ignorance of his son’s potential was evident. Defense lawyer Mariell Lehman informed the jury on Wednesday that the father was unaware of his son’s plans.

At one point in the rebuttal, McDonald started fastening a cable lock to the murder weapon, claiming that it would only take “ten seconds” and that it could have stopped the shooting.

A unique situation involves the Crumbley family, who are being prosecuted for their son’s shooting.

Following his guilty pleas to 24 counts, including first-degree premeditated murder and terrorism causing death, Ethan Crumbley was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release.

On March 23, James Crumbley walks into Cheryl Matthews’ Oakland County courtroom. 13. in Pontiac, Michigan, in 2024. Mandi Wright/Associated Press.

One of the police officers handling the James Crumbley case, Brett Brandon, took the stand on Wednesday before the prosecution broke for the day. He testified about what the Crumbleys were doing while on a manhunt and how they had groceries delivered to them.

Following the parents’ charges, a manhunt was launched after they did not appear for court-mandated deadlines. Eventually, they were discovered hiding at a Detroit business.

Following Brandon’s testimony, the defense called in Karen Crumbley, the sister of James Crumbley, while the prosecution took a break. She was the only witness for the defense to take the stand.

In her testimony, Karen Crumbley stated that she saw James and the gunman in April and June of 2021 and that at the time, she had not heard or seen anything alarming regarding her nephew. She further stated in her deposition that she did not speak with James Crumbley at that time and he did not express any worries about his son.

James Crumbley’s sister Karen Crumbley speaks in the Oakland County Courtroom of Cheryl Matthews on March. 2013, in Pontiac, Michigan. Mandi Wright, AFP.

Using phone records during cross-examination, prosecutor Marc Keast highlighted Karen’s lack of closeness to her brother and her infrequent phone and social media communication with him, pointing out that they spoke on the phone just three times and exchanged 22 messages in 2021. She also responded to inquiries regarding her brother’s purchase of a gun for his son.

It would be incorrect to purchase a gun specifically for your child to use at his leisure. However, I see no issues with it when there is adult supervision,” Karen Crumbley stated.

Karen Crumbley stated during cross-examination that she would have attempted to assist if she had seen drawings of a gun by the gunman or if he had written, “help me.” As a mother, she would have found that concerning.

In June 2021, Karen Crumbley disclosed to the family during their visit to James, Jennifer, and Ethan Crumbley at their Michigan home, that James had shown them his gun and the location of its storage in his room. James Crumbley could have stopped the shooting, according to the prosecution, if he had secured the gun and kept his son from getting access to it.

Whitney Lloyd of ABC News assisted in the reporting of this article.

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