Oxford school shooter’s parents lose final appeal, set for trial



The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected a last-ditch appeal from the parents of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, setting the stage for an unprecedented trial.

James and Jennifer Crumbley each face four charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Nov. 30, 2021 shooting in which their son killed four of his classmates at Oxford High and wounded six more students and a teacher.

If they reach trial, it will be the first time parents in the U.S. are held criminally accountable for their child’s school shooting.

Ethan, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, has already pleaded guilty to dozens of charges, including one count of terrorism and four counts of first-degree murder.

Ethan Crumbley
Ethan Crumbley killed four of his classmates at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich.

His parents, however, have fought the charges from the start, arguing that they couldn’t have known their son was about to carry out a school shooting and shouldn’t be held responsible for it. They lost a preliminary hearing, lost their petition to the Michigan Court of Appeals and on Friday lost their final appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

“We are not persuaded that the question should be reviewed by this court,” the state’s high court wrote in a one-sentence decision, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Prosecutors have argued the Crumbleys knew about their son’s mental health issues, but instead of getting him treatment, they bought him a gun. Ethan said he told his parents he’d been hearing voices and seeing demons in the house.

Investigators have focused on a meeting held in a school office on the day of the shooting. It was called after a teacher spotted Ethan writing, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me” on a worksheet along with a picture of a gun.

James, left, and Jennifer Crumbley are shown during the video arraignment of their son, Ethan Crumbley in Rochester Hills, Mich., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. A prosecutor filed involuntary manslaughter charges Friday, Dec. 3, 20201 against the Crumbleys whose 15-year-old son is accused of killing four students at a Michigan high school. (District Court via AP)
James, left, and Jennifer Crumbley bought their son a gun four days before the school shooting. In this photo, they are attending his arraignment via video conference.

At that conference, James and Jennifer Crumbley refused to remove their son from school. Ethan believed someone would search his backpack and find the gun during the meeting, according to testimony from a psychologist.

“Ethan said for the first time in his life he felt relieved,” Colin King testified at an August sentencing hearing. “He said he just knew the sheriffs were going to burst into the office and arrest him because there was no way, after all that they saw, they weren’t going to search that backpack.”

With News Wire Services


Source link