Parents of Michigan School Shooter Ask For Leniency from Judge

The parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley were sentenced to a minimum of ten years last week in the first-ever convictions of the parents of a teenage shooter, the Associated Press reported.

In an April 9 sentencing hearing for Jennifer and James Crumbley, Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews said the convictions were “not about poor parenting” but a confirmation of the “repeated acts, or lack of acts, that could have halted an oncoming runaway train.”

The Crumbleys were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter for each of the four students their son Ethan killed when he opened fire at students in Oxford High School in November 2021.

Prosecutors accused Ethan’s parents of contributing to the mass shooting by giving their son the firearm he used despite his psychological problems. While the Crumbleys were unaware that their son had the gun in his backpack when they dropped him off at school on that day, prosecutors convinced jurors that his parents had a role in enabling the shooting.

The Crumbleys, who were tried separately, were both convicted of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year.

Craig Shilling, the father of one of the four victims, told the Crumbleys during last Tuesday’s sentencing hearing that the blood of the four children killed by their son was also on their hands.

Prosecutor Karen McDonald asked Judge Matthews to extend sentencing beyond guidelines to impose a minimum 10-year sentence on both parents.

Attorneys for the Crumbleys asked the judge to sentence the parents to time served, noting that they already spent nearly two and a half years behind bars since they were unable to pay the $500,000 bond.

Instead, Judge Matthews gave the Crumbley’s credit for time served and said they would be eligible for parole after ten years. If the Crumbleys are not paroled, they will remain in prison for up to 15 years.

In her remarks to the court, Jennifer Crumbley blamed Oxford High School officials for not giving them the “bigger picture” of Ethan’s behavior in school.

Now 17, Ethan was sentenced in December last year to life in prison without the possibility of parole.