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65f462bca8762c001e3445cb James Crumbley

Father of shooter in Michigan school attack is convicted of involuntary manslaughter

March 15, 2024
James Crumbley failed to intervene to prevent his son from a shooting attack that killed 4 students at Oxford High School in 2021.

James Crumbley, the father of the 15-year-old boy who killed four students at a Michigan high school in 2021, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

CNN reports that an Oakland County jury convicted Crumbley, father of Ethan Crumbley, of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. The boy's mother, Jennifer Crumbley, was convicted last month of the same charges.

Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty in 2022 to four counts of murder and other charges related to the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School, in which four students were killed and six students and a teacher were wounded. He was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole.

Students Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling were fatally wounded in the shooting attack. 

"Because of the gross negligence of both James and Jennifer Crumbley, four children are dead," Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said after the verdict. "They did not pull the trigger that day, but if they had done even the smallest of things, this tragedy would not have happened."

Prosecutors asserted during the trial that James Crumbley was “grossly negligent” because he bought a 9mm gun for his son days before the attack, failed to properly secure it, ignored his son’s deteriorating mental health, and did not take “reasonable care” to prevent foreseeable danger.

Defense attorney Mariell Lehman countered that the prosecution’s case lacked evidence and was based on “assumptions and hindsight.”

The guilty verdicts for James and Jennifer Crumbley are the first time the parents of a school shooter have been convicted of crimes in connection with their child's attacks.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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