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Michigan school shooter's parents sentenced to 10-15 years in prison

A judge approved a prosecutor's request to sentence the couple to 10-15 years after their son murdered four students in Michigan in 2021.
School shooter's parents James and Jennifer Crumbley to be sentenced
Posted at 6:01 AM, Apr 09, 2024

James and Jennifer Crumbley were both sentenced by a Michigan judge to 10-15 years, following the recommendation of a prosecutor who sought the prison term after they were convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

It is believed to be the first time parents have been held criminally responsible for their child's school shooting. Two separate juries in back-to-back trials found both James and Jennifer Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter. 

Their son used a gun owned by the couple to fatally shoot four students at Oxford High School in Michigan in November 2021.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews scolded the couple during Tuesday's sentencing. She said the trial and sentencing were not about gun ownership or about keeping a gun in a private home. 

"Parenting is a complex job," Matthews said. "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 upcoming runaway train. About ignoring things that would make a reasonable person feel the hair on the back of their neck stand up. Opportunity knocked over and over again louder and louder and was ignored."

Matthews told James Crumbley that because of him, there was "unfettered access to a gun" in their home. She also scolded the father for threatening the prosecutor. 

The defense for Jennifer Crumbley had asked for time served or house arrest at the guest home of her attorney, Shannon Smith. The defense for James Crumbley has also asked for time served.

The two have already spent over two years behind bars. That time will be deducted from the rest of their sentence.

A period of 43 months to 86 months was the minimum range under state guidelines.

SEE MORE: Prosecutors want 10-year sentences for parents of Michigan shooter

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