Michigan shooter’s dad convicted of manslaughter after mom’s verdict

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TL/DR –

James Crumbley, the father of a teenager who killed four students in a Michigan high school shooting in 2021, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. This trial comes a month after the shooter’s mother was convicted on the same charges. The parents’ trials have been viewed as a test of the limits of responsibility for school shootings, and their convictions may set a precedent for holding parents accountable for their children’s actions in such cases.


James Crumbley, Father of Michigan High School Shooter, Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter

Breaking news update [published at 7:21 p.m. ET]

James Crumbley, the father of the teenager who carried out the 2021 Michigan high school shooting, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. This verdict comes a month after the shooter’s mother was convicted of the same charges.

Crumbley has been convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter, with each charge carrying a potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison. The cases against the shooter’s parents serve as a test for the extent of parental responsibility in school shootings.

Original story [last updated at 11:19 a.m. ET]

Jury deliberations resumed Thursday in the manslaughter trial of James Crumbley, after the conviction of the shooter’s mother on the same charges. Crumbley faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors argued that Crumbley was “grossly negligent” for purchasing a firearm for his son, failing to secure it, ignoring his son’s deteriorating mental health, and neglecting to take reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable danger.

According to Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney Karen McDonald, “James Crumbley is on trial for what he did and what he didn’t do.”

In response, defense attorney Mariell Lehman contended that the prosecution’s case lacked concrete evidence, being dependent on “assumptions and hindsight.”

More than two years after the attack, the trial raises questions about who is responsible for mass shootings. In 2021, Ethan Crumbley used the purchased firearm to kill four students and injure six others along with a teacher at Oxford High School.

The parents are personally blamed for the deaths as prosecutors argue that they bought their son a gun and overlooked signs of his deteriorating mental health. This novel legal strategy aims to expand the scope of blame in mass shootings.

Jennifer Crumbley’s conviction marked the first time a school shooter’s parent was held directly responsible for the killings. Her sentencing is scheduled for April 9.

Ethan was sentenced to life in prison without parole last year after pleading guilty to terrorism charges, four counts of murder, and 19 other related charges. He did not testify in either of his parents’ trials.

Mental health and gun security were key focuses in the trial

The trial of James Crumbley focused mainly on the purchase and storage of the firearm. In contrast to his wife’s trial, less evidence about his personal life and interests was presented.

The prosecution’s case involved 15 witnesses, whereas the defense called only one, James Crumbley’s sister Karen. The key point of contention was how the murder weapon was secured and accessed by the shooter.

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