United States

James And Jennifer Crumbly, Parents Of Michigan School Teen Shooter Sentenced To 10-15 Years For Involuntary Manslaughter- A First In The US

The sentencing of James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of Ethan Crumbley, the Michigan school teen shooter, marks a historic moment in the U.S. as they become the first parents convicted of involuntary manslaughter in such a case, receiving a 10-15 year prison sentence, while their son Ethan serves a life sentence for the tragic events at Oxford High School.

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Parents Of Michigan School Shooter Ethan Crumbley, James and Jennifer Crumbley, Sentenced To Atleast 10 Years Photo: Getty Images

Jennifer and James Crumbley, the first parents of a mass school shooter in the US to be convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the shooting, received a sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison in a Michigan courtroom on Tuesday.

Facing a maximum of 15 years behind bars, the couple had already spent over two years incarcerated since their arrest in a Detroit warehouse shortly after the shooting. Although they were tried separately, their sentencing occurred simultaneously in an Oakland County courtroom.

The sentencing followed testimonies from the families of the victims, including Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Justin Shilling, 17. These students tragically lost their lives during the shooting rampage carried out by the Crumbleys' son, Ethan, at Oxford High School in Michigan on November 30, 2021.

"You created all of this," expressed Nicole Beausoleil, Baldwin's mother, tearfully. "You failed as parents. The punishment that you face will never be enough."

"When you texted ‘Ethan don’t do it,’ I was texting Madisyn, ‘I love you please call mom.’ "

Reina St. Juliana, Hana's sister, moved many to tears as she recounted how her sister would never experience milestones like prom, graduation, or birthdays.

"I never got to say goodbye," Reina said. "Hana was only 14 ... she took her last breath in a school she hadn't even been in for three months."

“Our 10-year-old little brother had to learn how to write a eulogy for his sister before he even learned how to write essays," she told the court.

Craig Shilling, father of Justin Shilling, spoke of the ongoing anguish and pain he experiences daily.

"Literally every single aspect of my life has been affected by this tragedy," he stated, wearing a black hoodie adorned with a photo of his smiling son.

"The blood of our children is on your hands," he declared to the defendants.

Jill Soave, Justin's mother, expressed that the tragedy could have been entirely avoided.

"If only they had done something, your honor, anything, to shift the course of events on November 30, then our four angels would be here today," she lamented.

Judge Cheryl Matthews spoke to both parents before delivering the sentence, stating, "Mr. Crumbley, it's clear to this court that because of your there was unfettered access to a gun or guns, as well as ammunition in your home."

"Mrs. Crumbley, you glorified the use and possession of these weapons," she continued.

Jennifer and James Crumbley also made statements to the court.

Prosecutors requested a sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison for each parent, following separate juries' guilty verdicts on four counts of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year. Their son, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, is serving a life sentence for the murders of four classmates at Oxford High School.

In a sentencing memo to Judge Cheryl Matthews, prosecutors stated that the parents have displayed no remorse for their actions. They informed the juries that the Crumbleys purchased the gun used by their son and disregarded warning signs regarding the teen's mental health.

Legal analysts have noted that the case, which garnered nationwide attention, could influence societal perceptions of parental responsibility when their children access firearms and cause harm. Whether this case will prompt prosecutors to pursue charges against parents in similar circumstances remains uncertain.