Oxford High School shooters parents sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter

By Jim Newell
Managing Editor
PONTIAC — The parents of the Oxford High School shooter were sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison on Tuesday, April 9 for their role in the shooting that left four students dead and seven others injured.
James and Jennifer Crumbley received the sentences in a Pontiac courtroom from Judge Cheryl Matthews. The Crumbleys were previously convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in separate trials earlier this year.
During sentencing, Matthews said she believes the sentences are “in the best interests of justice and are reasonable and proportionate.”
“Parents are not expected to be psychic, but these convictions are not about poor parenting. These convictions confirm repeated acts, or lack of acts, that could have halted an oncoming runaway train – about repeatedly ignoring things that would make a reasonable person feel the hair on the back of their neck,” Matthews said.
A jury found James Crumbley guilty on March 14 on four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Crumbley, 47, had pleaded not guilty for his role in the deaths of Oxford High School students Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.
Six other students and a teacher were wounded in the shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021.
Jennifer Crumbley, who also pleaded not guilty, was found guilty on the same four counts in February.
Their son previously pleaded guilty to 24 charges, including first degree murder, in the shooting and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
The Crumbleys have already spent 858 days in jail, which will be deducted from their sentence. Matthews also instructed them to have no contact with the families of the victims.
During her trial, Jennifer Crumbley took the stand in her own defense and expressed no regret, putting the blame on her son and husband. “I’ve asked myself if I would have done anything differently, and I wouldn’t have,” she testified.
But during sentencing on Tuesday, she tried to downplay her testimony during the trial, saying it was “completely misunderstood” and that her son had seemed “so normal” and that she could not have known his plans.
James Crumbley cried at several points during his statement to the judge and asked to be sentenced in a “fair and just way.” He also apologized to the families of the victims, who gave impact statements during the sentencing and asked the judge for the maximum sentence allowed.
“I really want the families of Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre and Justin Shilling to know how truly sorry I am and how devastated I was when I heard what happened to them. I have cried for you and the loss of your children more times than I can count,” James Crumbley said.
Jennifer Crumbley’s attorneys had asked that she be sentenced to time served and house arrest. James Crumbley’s attorneys asked for 28 months of prison – the amount of time he’s been in jail – with credit for time served as well as the maximum period of supervised release.
The Crumbley’s trials are the first trials in the United States where a parent of a school shooter has faced charges for the shooting.
During the trials, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald argued that the Crumbley’s bear responsibility for the deaths because they were “grossly negligent” in giving a gun to their son, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, and failed to get him proper mental health treatment despite warning signs.
Jennifer Crumbley blamed her husband, testifying that safely storing the gun was her husband’s responsibility.
“It’s a rare case that takes some really egregious facts,” McDonald said in closing arguments during Jennifer Crumbley’s trial. “It takes the unthinkable, and she has done the unthinkable, and because of that, four kids have died.”
The prosecution’s case against Jennifer Crumbley focused on her knowledge of her son’s mental issues, how he got access to the firearm and her actions at a pivotal school meeting on the morning of the shooting.
James Crumbley’s trial focused heavily on how he failed to properly secure the family’s firearms, and on the Sig Sauer pistol that prosecutors say he bought his son as an early Christmas present four days before the shooting.
The Crumbleys were called to Oxford High School for a meeting about their son’s behavior and disturbing drawings he had in class. A school counselor testified he recommended the parents take their son home from school to get immediate mental health treatment but the Crumbley’s refused to do so.
In James Crumbley’s trial, the defense called only one witness. Karen Crumbley, the defendant’s sister, said that until the shooting she had never had a reason to be concerned about her nephew. He did not testify on his own behalf.

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