Father of Michigan boy who shoots also guilty

Henry

The father of a teenage boy who opened fire on learners at a high school in the USA in 2021 and shot four people dead has been found guilty by a jury of culpable homicide.

Jennifer Crumbley (45) and now also her husband, James (47), are the first parents of a school shooter to be charged and found guilty of culpable homicide – even though the crime was committed by their child.

Ethan Crumbley (17) is already serving a life sentence for the shooting on November 30, 2021 at the Oxford High School near Detroit in the US state of Michigan.

Prosecutors in the case argued that his parents were responsible for giving their son a firearm and ignoring the signs that he was violent.

Ethan was charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count for each of the victims. Another seven learners were injured in the incident.

He used a 9 mm SIG Sauer, a semi-automatic handgun, which his father had bought for him as a Christmas present, to open fire on his fellow students.

Before the shooting, the school repeatedly warned Ethan’s parents that something was wrong with his mental health, but they did not intervene.

Ethan reported himself to the police shortly after the shooting and his parents were also arrested about a week later. He pleaded guilty in October 2022 to charges including murder and terrorism.

His parents were later tried separately, with Jennifer found guilty in February.

“James Crumbley abandoned his son in a tragic way,” state prosecutor Karen McDonald said in her closing argument.

“But he not only failed his son, he also failed to fulfill his legal duty to prevent the deaths of these children.”

Mariell Lehman, James’ legal representative, maintained that his client did not know he had to protect others from his son.

“He had no idea what his son was planning to do,” Lehman said.

The jury began deliberating on Wednesday and then also found James guilty.

The Crumbley couple will both be sentenced on April 9. A conviction of culpable homicide carries a prescribed sentence of up to 15 years in prison.