UNITED STATES NEWS

Prosecutors recommend at least 10 years in prison for parents of Michigan school shooter

Apr 3, 2024, 2:12 PM

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors in Michigan are recommending at least 10 years in prison next week for two parents who are the first in the U.S. to be held criminally responsible for a school shooting.

Jennifer Crumbley showed a “chilling lack of remorse” for her role, and James Crumbley “failed to exercise even the smallest measure of ordinary care” that could have prevented the deaths of four students at Oxford High School in 2021, prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday.

The Crumbleys, the parents of shooter Ethan Crumbley, were convicted of involuntary manslaughter at separate trials earlier this year.

The maximum prison stay for the crime is 15 years. But the minimum sentence set by the judge on April 9 will be critical because the Crumbleys would be eligible for parole consideration after that time.

They will get credit for about 2 1/2 years spent in the Oakland County jail since their arrest.

Prosecutors said Ethan, who was 15 at the time, wanted help for his mental health but his parents ignored him. On the day of the shooting, they went to the school to discuss his morbid drawing of a gun, a wounded figure and phrases such as, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”

Instead of taking their son home, the Crumbleys left with a list of contacts for mental health services and returned to work. A few hours later, Ethan pulled a Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun from his backpack and began shooting.

School staff had not demanded that Ethan be taken home. But they also didn’t know that James Crumbley had purchased the gun just four days earlier and that it resembled the one in the drawing, according to trial testimony.

Ethan, now 17, is serving life in prison with no chance for parole after pleading guilty to murder and terrorism.

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Prosecutors recommend at least 10 years in prison for parents of Michigan school shooter