The father of the school shooter was found guilty of manslaughter


CNN —James Crumbley, the father of the teenager who killed four students at a Michigan high school in 2021, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in a trial that comes a month after the shooter’s mother was convicted of the same charges.
Crumbley was convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter, a charge that carries a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in prison, which would run concurrently.
James Crumbley is set to be sentenced on April 9 at 9 a.m., the judge said in court.
His wife, Jennifer Crumbley, will be sentenced at the same date and time.
James Crumbley was shackled and escorted out of the courtroom after the verdict was read and affirmed by each juror.
Victims’ family members were in tears as the verdict was being read.
Nicole Beausoleil, the mother of Madisyn Baldwin, reacts to the jury’s verdict in the trial of James Crumbley on March 14, 2024.
Bill Pugliano/Getty ImagesParents of those killed in the school shooting, including the parents of Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling, hugged the lead prosecutor following the verdict.
“James Crumbley is not on trial for what his son did,” Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney Karen McDonald said.
In a statement after the verdict was announced, McDonald said his failure to act led to the students’ deaths.
James Crumbley and his attorney listen to the verdict on March 14, 2024.
Robin Buckson/Detroit News/Pool/AP“Four children are dead because of the gross negligence of the shooter’s parents.
In Michigan, a parent has a legal duty and James Crumbley did not meet that duty,” she said.
The cases against the parents represent a test of the limits of who is responsible for a mass shooting.
Parents have previously faced liability for their child’s actions, such as with neglect or firearms charges, but Jennifer Crumbley’s guilty verdict was the first time a school shooter’s parent was held directly responsible for the killings.
Jennifer Crumbley, the shooter’s mother, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last month.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty ImagesEthan was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to terrorism causing death, four counts of murder and 19 other related charges.
He did not testify in either of his parents’ trials, as his attorneys said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right to silence.
Craig Shilling, Justin Shilling’s father, said his heart was beating out of his chest as he prepared to speak.
“I could never imagine being here and I don’t want anyone else to have to be here like this.
This is a very difficult thing to go through,” Shilling said.
Steve St. Juliana, father of Hana St. Juliana, said mass shootings are the “number one killer of our kids, folks,” and added more needs to be done.
“Our children are dying on a daily basis in mass murders and we do very little about it,” he said.
“The gun is just a tool, so we’ve got to look at other things other than the gun.
We gotta see what we can do to support these kids better … we need to solve this because no parents should go through the hell we’re going through,” he added.
Both Myre and Madisyn Baldwin’s mother, Nicole Beausoleil, suggested holding the school accountable.
“They are going to see these families rise up against it.
However, prosecutors focused more closely on his purchase of the firearm and how he stored it, while featuring less evidence about his personal life and interests.
Most notably, Jennifer Crumbley took the stand in her own defense at her trial, pushing blame onto others and expressing no regrets.
In contrast, James Crumbley declined to testify.
“It is my decision to remain silent,” he said in court.
The prosecution rested its case after calling 15 witnesses over the past week.
The defense called one witness, James Crumbley’s sister Karen, who testified she had spent several days with the Crumbley family in April and June 2021 and did not notice anything concerning.
How the murder weapon was secured and how the shooter gained access to it has been a key point of contention.
“I will have to find where my dad hid my 9mm before I can shoot the school,” the then-15-year-old wrote in a journal entry before the shooting.
A detective said a cable lock sold with the SIG Sauer was found still in its plastic packaging, and no other firearm locking mechanisms were found in the home.
However, the defense has questioned whether a different locking mechanism may have been used to secure the firearm.
The cable lock that was sold with the SIG Sauer 9 mm firearm was still in its plastic wrapping in the Crumbley home, a detective testified.
Prosecutors also argued James Crumbley missed clear warning signs that his son needed help.
In an April 2021 text to a friend, the shooter said he was hearing people talking to him and seeing someone in the distance.
“I actually asked my dad to take (me) to the Doctor yesterday but he just gave me some pills and told me to ‘Suck it up,’” the shooter wrote.
Lehman, the defense attor

CNN –.

A month after the mother of the shooter was found guilty of the same charges, James Crumbley, the teen’s father, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter during a trial held at a Michigan high school in 2021.

Four counts of involuntary manslaughter, each carrying a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison, were found to have been committed by Crumbley. These counts would run concurrently.

More than two years have passed since November 30, 2021, when his son Ethan Crumbley, then 15 years old, shot and killed four students at Oxford High School and injured six more along with a teacher using a SIG Sauer 9mm. The jury’s deliberations came to an end on Thursday.

Sentencing for James Crumbley is scheduled for April 9 at 9:00 a.m. M. said the judge in the courtroom. Jennifer Crumbley, his wife, will also be sentenced at the same time and date.

Following the reading of the verdict and each juror’s affirmation, James Crumbley was shackled and led out of the courtroom.

As the verdict was read, the relatives of the victims sobbed.

On March 14, 2024, Madisyn Baldwin’s mother, Nicole Beausoleil, responds to the jury’s decision in James Crumbley’s trial. Getty Images/Bill Pugliano.

Parents of those slain in the school shooting, Hana St. Madisyn Baldwin’s parents, etc. After the decision, Juliana and Justin Shilling gave the lead prosecutor hugs.

In their closing remarks on Wednesday, the prosecution claimed that James Crumbley was “grossly negligent” for purchasing the SIG Sauer 9mm gun for his son just a few days prior to the attack, failing to secure it properly, ignoring his son’s failing mental health, and failing to take “reasonable care” to avert foreseeable danger.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald stated, “James Crumbley is not on trial for what his son did.”. James Crumbley is standing trial for both his actions and inactions. “.

Defense lawyer Mariell Lehman retorted that the prosecution’s case was predicated on “assumptions and hindsight” and lacked supporting documentation. “.

“There is no testimony or evidence that indicates James knew his son posed a risk to others,” the speaker stated.

McDonald claimed in a statement following the verdict announcement that the students’ deaths were the result of his inaction.

The verdict is heard on March 14, 2024, and James Crumbley and his lawyer listen. Pool/AP/Detroit News/Robin Buckson.

“The extreme carelessness of the gunman’s parents has resulted in the deaths of four children.”. James Crumbley did not fulfill his legal obligations as a parent in Michigan, according to her.

The legal actions taken against the parents are an attempt to determine the extent of culpability for a mass shooting. In an innovative legal move, prosecutors seeking to place greater blame on the parents of victims of mass shootings have claimed that their son’s parents bought him a gun and disregarded warning indications that his mental health was deteriorating.

Jennifer Crumbley’s guilty verdict marked the first instance in which a parent of a school shooter was held directly accountable for the killings, despite the fact that parents have been held liable in the past for their child’s actions due to neglect or charges involving firearms.

Involuntary manslaughter was found guilty of last month by Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the gunman. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images.

Last year, Ethan entered a guilty plea to four counts of murder, terrorism causing death, and 19 other related charges. He was then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. During his parents’ trials, he refrained from testifying, citing his Fifth Amendment right to silence, according to his lawyers.

Father of the victim: “No parent should have to go through what we’re going through.”.

At a news conference held on Thursday after the verdict, the parents of the four children who were killed in the Oxford school shooting voiced concerns about mass shootings and the mental health of children in the US.

As he got ready to talk, Justin Shilling’s father, Craig, said his heart was racing out of his chest.

I don’t want anyone else to have to be here in this situation; I could never have imagined myself here. Shilling remarked, “This is an extremely tough thing to go through.”.

Steve M. Juliana, the father of Hana St. The “number one killer of our kids, folks,” according to Juliana, is mass shootings, and more needs to be done.

“We are doing very little to stop the mass murders of our children that occur on a daily basis,” he said.

Tate Myre’s father, Buck Myre, described the situation as “a mental health crisis” and demanded immediate change. “.

According to Myre, “this is a complex problem that will not be easily resolved.”.

We must consider factors other than the gun because it is merely a tool. “We need to find a solution so that no parent has to go through the hell that we are,” he continued. “We have to discover how we can help these kids more.”.

Holding the school accountable was suggested by Myre as well as Nicole Beausoleil, the mother of Madisyn Baldwin. These families are going to rebel against it, they will witness. Beausoleil declared, “They are not permitted to forget.”.

The trial’s main topics were gun security and mental health.

James Crumbley’s trial, which started last week, has been quite similar to that of his wife, with numerous shooting survivors, police investigators, and school personnel in attendance.

On the other hand, prosecutors presented less information regarding his hobbies and personal life and instead concentrated more on his acquisition of the firearm and how he stored it. Most famously, Jennifer Crumbley defended herself during her trial by placing the blame elsewhere and saying she had no regrets.

James Crumbley, on the other hand, declined to testify. He declared in court, “It is my decision to remain silent.”.

Following a week in which it called fifteen witnesses, the prosecution rested its case. Karen Crumbley, the sister of James Crumbley, was one of the witnesses called by the defense. She stated that she had spent several days with the Crumbley family in April and June of 2021 and had not noticed anything suspicious.

A major area of disagreement has been how the murder weapon was locked up and how the gunman got to it.

Testimony states that James bought the gun for his son on Black Friday in 2021. He later told investigators he had concealed the weapon in an armoire case and the bullets under some jeans in a different location.

Before the shooting, the then-15-year-old wrote in a journal entry, “I will have to find where my dad hid my 9mm before I can shoot the school.”.

According to a detective, no other firearm locking mechanisms were discovered in the house, and the cable lock that came with the SIG Sauer was discovered still sealed in its plastic packaging. But the defense has questioned whether the firearm might have been secured with a different locking mechanism.

A detective testified that in the Crumbley residence, the cable lock that was sold along with the SIG Sauer 9 mm gun was still in its plastic wrapping. Pool/WJJ/WXYZ.

The detective further testified that two additional firearms in the home, a .22-caliber Derringer and a .22-caliber KelTec, were locked in a gun safe in the parents’ bedroom dresser. The combination to unlock the safe was “0-0-0,” the factory default setting.

Additionally, the prosecution claimed James Crumbley disregarded obvious indicators that his son needed assistance.

The gunman claimed to be hearing conversations and seeing someone in the distance in a text message sent to a friend in April 2021.

“Yesterday, I asked my dad to take me to the doctor, but all he did was give me some pills and tell me to’suck it up,'” the gunman wrote.

Defense lawyer Lehman contended that there was no proof the gunman had genuinely asked for assistance, nor any proof that his father had turned him down. She said, “James was unaware that his son was struggling.”.

In Oxford, Michigan, people congregate at the memorial for the slain and injured outside Oxford High School. 3. December 2021 (Friday). Jeff Kowalsky via AFP and Getty Images.

Additionally, on the morning of the shooting, Ethan’s parents were summoned to the school to talk about his unsettling writings on a math worksheet, which included drawings of a gun and bullet as well as the phrases “help me,” “blood everywhere,” and “my life is useless.”.

On the day of the shooting, Oxford High School counselor Shawn Hopkins testified that he advised the parents to pull Ethan out of school so he could receive mental health treatment. Jennifer Crumbley responded that they couldn’t because they had work. The counselor stated in court that James Crumbley did not object.

Employees at the school attested that they had an agreement with the parents to allow Ethan to spend the day in class. The adolescent killed Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Hana St. approximately two hours after removing the gun from his backpack and opening fire. The ages of Justin Shilling, 17, and Juliana, 14.

Hana Street, clockwise from upper left. In the November 2021 shooting, Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, Justin Shilling, and Juliana all perished. obtained by CNN.

According to the prosecution, the shooting might have been avoided if James and Jennifer Crumbley had followed the counselor’s advice and kept their son home from school, or if they had told the staff that they had recently bought him a gun.

The easiest, most obvious chance to stop the deaths of these four students were given to James Crumbley, but he did nothing, according to McDonald. “Over and over and over again, he did nothing. “.

Lehman disagreed, claiming that James was unaware that his son had obtained the weapon and that there was no immediate threat of danger.

“James Crumbley was completely unaware that his son possessed those firearms, nor did he know what his son was planning or what his son was capable of.”.

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