Jennifer and James Crumbley — the parents of Oxford High School shooter, Ethan Crumbley — have lost their appeal after a state appeals court ruled that the parents will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter, in connection to the roles they played in their then-15-year-old son’s slaughter at his Michigan high school, per reporting from CBS News.
As noted by the publication, this ruling and the over case against the Crumbley parents serves as a “groundbreaking case of criminal responsibility for the acts of a child.”
In their brutal decision, the appeals court ruled that the 4 murders and 7 additional injuries committed by now-16-year-old Ethan Crumbley would never have happened, if not for the prior actions of his parents, including their decision to purchase a gun for their mentally unstable teenage son as an early Christmas gift, to blatantly ignore his very obvious mental health crises, and their refusal to take Ethan home from Oxford High School on the morning of the shooting, after they were called in by school officials who were extremely concerned over violent, extremist drawings Ethan had created.
In a 3-0 opinion, the court ruled, “Whether a jury actually finds that causation has been proven after a full trial, where the record will almost surely be more expansive — including evidence produced by defendants — is an issue separate from what we decide today,” noting that Michigan law has a relatively low legal threshold at this stage in a case.
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Jennifer and James Crumbley will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in connection to their son’s heinous school shooting that cost 4 lives and injured another 7, as prosecutors accuse the parents of blatantly ignoring their teenage son’s mental health needs and failing to secure a gun in their household.
Ethan Crumbley, who was only 15 years old at the time of the November 2021 massacre, has already pleaded guilty to charges of terrorism and murder and currently faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole upon his official sentencing.
Attorneys for Ethan’s parents acknowledge that Jennifer and James made bad decisions with regard t their teenage son, but assert that the events of that horrible day could not have been foreseen by anyone and their obvious negligence as parents should not rise to the level of involuntary manslaughter charges.
Judge Michael Riordan stated that parents should not be dragged into court for “subpar, odd, or eccentric” care of their children, but made clear note of the fact that the Crumbleys’ case is not typical, by far, and is much more serious than any typical, perceivable situation.
“The morning of the shooting, EC drew a picture of a body that appeared to have two bullet holes in the torso, apparently with blood streaming out of them, which was near another drawing of a handgun that resembled the gun his parents … had very recently gifted to him,” Riordan said.
The judge said that the drawings alone were “visual evidence” that Ethan was very much weighing the idea of shooting someone.
Teachers at Oxford High School saw the drawing and called a meeting on the morning of the shooting to address the concerning artwork with Ethan’s parents. Jennifer and James Crumbley did not take Ethan home. He would go on to open fire in his high school later the same day.
Read the full report from CBS News here.
Featured image via screen capture