Parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter

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By James Kay

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The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the boy who was behind a school shooting in Michigan, will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter during a rare case.

As reported by ABC News, James and Jennifer Crumbley have been accused of providing easy access to a firearm for their son, Ethan, and neglecting his mental health needs.

This week, an appeal lodged by the Crumbley parents was denied, setting the stage for their trial. The Michigan Supreme Court upheld a previous decision by the state appeals court, allowing the case to proceed.

Prosecutors, based in suburban Detroit, only had to establish probable cause to put the parents on trial - a relatively low legal threshold at this stage.

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Ethan Crumbley was arrested in November 2021. Credit: Oakland County Sheriff's Office/Getty

The appeals court emphasized that an Oakland County jury would eventually hear a more comprehensive case from all perspectives.

The horrifying incident unfolded in November 2021 when Ethan carried out a devastating school shooting at Oxford High, resulting in the tragic deaths of Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, and Justin Shilling. Additionally, six students and a teacher were wounded.

Ethan has already pleaded guilty to terrorism and murder, and last week, a judge ruled that he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

While the parents' defense acknowledges certain poor decisions, they maintain that these do not rise to the level of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

As per CNN, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwamé Rowe said: "It’s clear to this court the defendant had an obsession with violence before the shooting."

He then acknowledged the parents, stating: "There is no question that the defendant’s home environment was not ideal. The court finds that the defendant’s parents frequently left him alone since an early age, that his parents frequently used alcohol and argued in front of the defendant, that his parents failed to take his mental health seriously, and that his father bought him the gun that he used in the school shooting."

On the day of the shooting, Ethan and his parents met with school staff after a teacher raised concerns about violent drawings. However, crucially, no one checked his backpack for a firearm, and he was allowed to remain in school.

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James and Jennifer Crumbley appear in court on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty

Currently 17 years old, Ethan was 15 at the time of the incident. His sentencing is scheduled for December 8, and the presiding judge will have the discretion to determine whether he could be eligible for parole in the future.

James and Jennifer Crumbley have been in custody since shortly after the shooting, as they could not post the $500,000 bond required for their release. Notably, they have had no contact with their son since his arrest.

In light of a gag order, defense lawyers for the Crumbley parents refrained from commenting on the recent Supreme Court order.

Featured image credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty

Parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the boy who was behind a school shooting in Michigan, will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter during a rare case.

As reported by ABC News, James and Jennifer Crumbley have been accused of providing easy access to a firearm for their son, Ethan, and neglecting his mental health needs.

This week, an appeal lodged by the Crumbley parents was denied, setting the stage for their trial. The Michigan Supreme Court upheld a previous decision by the state appeals court, allowing the case to proceed.

Prosecutors, based in suburban Detroit, only had to establish probable cause to put the parents on trial - a relatively low legal threshold at this stage.

size-full wp-image-1263231466
Ethan Crumbley was arrested in November 2021. Credit: Oakland County Sheriff's Office/Getty

The appeals court emphasized that an Oakland County jury would eventually hear a more comprehensive case from all perspectives.

The horrifying incident unfolded in November 2021 when Ethan carried out a devastating school shooting at Oxford High, resulting in the tragic deaths of Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, and Justin Shilling. Additionally, six students and a teacher were wounded.

Ethan has already pleaded guilty to terrorism and murder, and last week, a judge ruled that he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

While the parents' defense acknowledges certain poor decisions, they maintain that these do not rise to the level of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

As per CNN, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwamé Rowe said: "It’s clear to this court the defendant had an obsession with violence before the shooting."

He then acknowledged the parents, stating: "There is no question that the defendant’s home environment was not ideal. The court finds that the defendant’s parents frequently left him alone since an early age, that his parents frequently used alcohol and argued in front of the defendant, that his parents failed to take his mental health seriously, and that his father bought him the gun that he used in the school shooting."

On the day of the shooting, Ethan and his parents met with school staff after a teacher raised concerns about violent drawings. However, crucially, no one checked his backpack for a firearm, and he was allowed to remain in school.

size-full wp-image-1263231467
James and Jennifer Crumbley appear in court on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty

Currently 17 years old, Ethan was 15 at the time of the incident. His sentencing is scheduled for December 8, and the presiding judge will have the discretion to determine whether he could be eligible for parole in the future.

James and Jennifer Crumbley have been in custody since shortly after the shooting, as they could not post the $500,000 bond required for their release. Notably, they have had no contact with their son since his arrest.

In light of a gag order, defense lawyers for the Crumbley parents refrained from commenting on the recent Supreme Court order.

Featured image credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty