Deliberations by the jury reconvene in the manslaughter trial involving James Crumbley, the father of the Michigan school shooter

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    Jury deliberations resumed on Thursday in the manslaughter trial of James Crumbley, the father of the teenager who tragically took the lives of four students at a Michigan high school in 2021. This trial unfolds just a month after the shooter’s mother was found guilty of the same charges.

    Crumbley is facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter and could potentially face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted. The jury spent approximately an hour deliberating on Wednesday. During closing arguments the previous day, prosecutors asserted that James Crumbley displayed “gross negligence” by purchasing a SIG Sauer 9mm gun for his son shortly before the attack, failing to adequately secure it, disregarding his son’s deteriorating mental health, and neglecting to take reasonable precautions to avert foreseeable danger.

    Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney Karen McDonald emphasized, “James Crumbley is not on trial for what his son did. James Crumbley is on trial for what he did and what he didn’t do.”

    In response, defense attorney Mariell Lehman contended that the prosecution’s case lacked substantial evidence and was founded on “assumptions and hindsight.”

    “You heard no testimony and you saw no evidence that James had any knowledge that his son was a danger to anyone,” she argued.

    These deliberations occur over two years following the tragic events at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021, when Ethan Crumbley, then 15, utilized the SIG Sauer 9mm to perpetrate the devastating attack, resulting in the loss of four lives and injuring six students and a teacher. The legal proceedings against the parents serve as a pivotal examination of the boundaries of accountability in cases of mass shootings. Prosecutors, seeking to broaden the spectrum of culpability in such tragedies, have employed a novel legal approach by asserting that the parents bear personal responsibility for the deaths due to their provision of a firearm to their son and their disregard of signs indicating his deteriorating mental state.

    While parents have previously faced legal repercussions for their child’s actions, such as charges related to neglect or firearms possession, Jennifer Crumbley’s recent guilty verdict marked the first instance in which a school shooter’s parent was directly held accountable for the fatalities. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 9th.



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