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The parents of the perpetrator of a deadly shooting at a Michigan school can be tried for involuntary manslaughter

2023-03-23T17:46:56.755Z


An appeals court concludes that the murder of four students in 2021 would not have happened if his son had not been bought a gun and taken home after discovering a gruesome drawing before the shooting.


The parents of the teen who killed four students at a Michigan high school in 2021 can be tried for manslaughter, a state appeals court ruled Thursday in a groundbreaking case over family criminal liability for the acts of a minor. old.

The court noted that the murders would not have occurred if James and Jennifer Crumbley had not bought their son Ethan a gun, or if they had taken him home the day of the shooting when school staff became alarmed to find drawings of violent images on him.

The court noted in any event that the legal threshold at this stage of the case is quite low, under Michigan law.

"Whether a jury ultimately finds their liability proven after a trial, in which the record will almost certainly be more extensive, including evidence provided by the defendants, is a different matter from what was decided today," the court said in a unanimous decision.

Undated photos provided by the Oakland County Police Department of Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley.AP

James and Jennifer Crumbley are accused of failing to keep the gun out of the child's reach, and of ignoring their son's mental health needs before the shooting, in which, in addition to the four students killed, seven other people were injured.

Crumbley, 16, has pleaded guilty to terrorism and murder, and could face life in prison without parole.

He was 15 years old when he carried out the November 2021 shooting at Oxford secondary school.

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The parents' lawyers insist that what happened that day was not foreseeable.

They acknowledge that bad decisions were made, but that they do not justify manslaughter charges.

Judge Michael Riordan said parents should not be prosecuted for "poor, bizarre or eccentric" care of their children.

But the evidence against him, he added, is much more serious.

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“The morning of the shooting, EC [Ethan Crumbley] made a drawing of a body that appeared to have two bullet holes in the torso, apparently with blood coming out of them, which was next to another drawing of a gun that resembled the gun. that her parents had given her very recently,” Riordan said.

It was "visual evidence" that he was contemplating shooting someone, the judge said.

The Crumbleys were called to the school for a meeting, but they did not take the boy home.

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Lawyers for the parents declined to comment, citing a gag order.

They are likely to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to review the case, especially since that court had ordered the appeals court to hear the arguments.

Source: telemundo

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