Michigan School Shooter's Mother Faces Manslaughter Trial for Student Deaths

On Tuesday, the jury selection for the trial of the mother of the boy who killed four students in a school shooting began. The mother is being charged with involuntary manslaughter in an unusual attempt to put the blame for the deaths on the shooter’s parents.

People don’t say that Jennifer and James Crumbley knew their son planned to kill other kids at Oxford High School in 2021. But officials said they let Ethan Crumbley have a gun, didn’t care about his mental health, and wouldn’t take him home when they saw his violent drawings at school on the day of the attack.

In a court document, assistant prosecutor Joseph Shada said that the crime of involuntary manslaughter has been “well-defined for ages” and that it is made up of two clear elements: gross carelessness causing death.

There were more than 200 people at Oakland County Court on Tuesday, which is 40 miles (65 km) north of Detroit. They were there to start choosing the jurors for Jennifer Crumbley’s hearing. In March, James Crumbley will be tried in a different court.

Following his guilty pleas to murder, terrorism, and other crimes in December, Ethan was given a life sentence in jail. They are the first parents in US history to be charged in a mass school killing, so this is a big deal. The mother of a six-year-old boy in Virginia who shot and hurt his teacher was just given two years in jail for neglecting her child.

“I think prosecutors are under a lot of pressure when these crimes involve weapons happen,” said Eve Brensike Primus, a professor of criminal process at the University of Michigan law school. There are angry people who want someone to take blame for what happened.

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It’s clear that 47-year-old James Crumbley bought a gun with Ethan four days before the killing. Ethan called the gun “my new beauty.” Jennifer Crumbley, 45, took him to a gun range and wrote on Instagram that it was a “mom and son day.”

Michigan School Shooter's Mother Faces Manslaughter Trial for Student Deaths

The school told Jennifer Crumbley the day before the killing that Ethan, who was 15, was looking at guns on his phone. “I’m not mad,” she told him in a text. “You need to learn how to stay away from trouble.” Defense lawyers say the parents could not have known what would happen. “Putting a square peg in a round hole” is what they say about the charges.

After every school shooting, the media and people who were affected are quick to point out so-called “red flags” that people in the shooter’s life missed. Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman tried to get the Michigan Supreme Court to throw out the charges but failed. “But the truth is that you can’t plan for the unimaginable.”

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Now 17 years old, Ethan told the judge that he was a “really bad person” who couldn’t stop himself. His dad told his mom, “They didn’t know, and I didn’t tell them what I was going to do, so they are not at fault.” The Crumbleys were called to Oxford High School a few hours before the killing. Ethan had used violent pictures and the words “The thoughts won’t stop” on a math quiz. Please help me.

Investigators say that the parents were told to get him into therapy, but they refused to take him out of school and left after less than 30 minutes. On November 30, 2021, Ethan brought a gun from home, but no one checked his bag.

The shooter turned himself in to police after hurting seven other people and killing four kids. A few days later, the parents were charged, but it was hard to find them. The police said they were hiding in a Detroit house. The Crumbleys have been in jail for more than two years because they can’t pay a $500,000 payment to get out. In Michigan, the highest sentence for involuntary manslaughter is 15 years in prison.

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