Prosecutors Seek 10-Year Sentences for Crumbleys

But school shooter's parents are hoping to avoid prison time, according to court filing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 3, 2024 6:45 PM CDT
Prosecutors Seek 10-Year Sentences for Crumbleys
Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, appear in court, Feb. 8, 2022, in Rochester Hills, Michigan.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Prosecutors in Michigan are recommending at least 10 years in prison next week for two parents who are the first in the US 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.

They were not accused of knowing their son's plan. But prosecutors said they failed to lock up a gun at home and ignored his mental health. The maximum prison sentence 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, the AP reports. They will get credit for about 2½ years spent in the Oakland County jail since their arrest.

In their filing, prosecutors disclosed that Jennifer Crumbley, 46, is hoping to avoid prison and instead be fitted with an electronic tether and live with her attorney, Shannon Smith. They said James Crumbley, 47, too, is hoping to be released. "Such a proposed sentence is a slap in the face to the severity of tragedy caused by defendant's gross negligence, the victims and their families," assistant prosecutor Marc Keast said, referring to Jennifer Crumbley. Their son, now 17, is serving life in prison with no chance for parole after pleading guilty to murder and terrorism.

(More school shooting stories.)

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