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In the United States, parents tried for the shooting committed by their son

2024-02-06T10:42:28.177Z

Highlights: Jennifer and James Crumbley are the first parents in the United States to face trial for a school shooting committed by their child. Their 15-year-old son, Ethan, killed four students and injured seven other people in his high school. Ethan was tried last December as an adult - even though he was still a minor - and sentenced to life in prison. The Crumbleys are accused of involuntary homicide, much more serious charges and risk up to 15 years in prison if convicted.


Jennifer and James Crumbley appear following the high school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, which left four people dead. They must answer for the crimes of their 15-year-old son. They are on trial for manslaughter.


This is an extraordinary trial that has just ended in Michigan.

It poses an unprecedented legal question: Can a parent be held responsible for their child's crimes?

Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of Ethan, a 15-year-old teenager who on November 30, 2021, killed four students and injured seven other people in his high school, is on trial for manslaughter.

She pleaded not guilty.

James Crumbley, her husband, is due to appear in March.

They are the first parents in the United States to face trial for a school shooting committed by their child.

As for Ethan, he was tried last December as an adult - even though he was still a minor - and sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, the most severe possible sentence.

On November 26, 2021, the young boy received a pistol from his father as a Christmas gift.

He then goes to try it with his mother in a shooting gallery.

A few days later, a teacher notices a very disturbing drawing that Ethan had made.

It showed a gun, an injured person with the following messages: "

Thoughts won't stop, help me

", "

Blood everywhere

" and "

my life is pointless

".

His parents were summoned immediately, but did not take the teenager home, claiming to have work.

They also forget to warn that Ethan has a weapon.

If the school management had searched the student's backpack, they would have discovered the 9 mm that he had taken from home in an unlocked cupboard.

He would open fire on his comrades a few hours later.

“My parents don’t listen to me when I say I want help or a psychologist”

When his parents learned they were facing charges, they left home after emptying their son's bank account, selling their two horses and buying disposable phones.

They ended up being arrested in Detroit.

They justified themselves by saying that they had received death threats.

The trial last week presented two very different portraits of Jennifer Crumbley, a 45-year-old marketing employee.

The prosecution portrayed her as a neglectful and selfish mother who was less interested in her son than in her horses and her lover, the fire captain.

She ignored her psychiatric problems.

In messages to his mother, he complained of seeing a “demon.”

In his diary he wrote: "

My parents don't listen to me when I say I want help or a shrink

."

Jennifer Crumbley did not pull the trigger that day but she is responsible for these deaths

,” said Marc Keast, the prosecutor, citing her indifference to Ethan's mental health and the fact of having provided him with a firearm.

She could have taken “

small and simple

” measures that would have prevented the massacre, he added.

“I wish he would have killed us instead”

On the contrary, the defense lawyer described her as a “very vigilant” mother.

She took care of her son, took him basketball, bowling, on vacation... During her testimony, Jennifer Crumbley claimed that she was unaware of Ethan's mental disorders and that he did not had never asked to see a psychologist.

She blamed the shooting on her husband for failing to lock up the gun and on the school for failing to warn her about her son's behavior and keeping him in class.

I wish he would have killed us instead

,” she confessed.

Her lawyer called on jurors not to punish her.

This case is very dangerous for parents

,” she said.

Can they be held responsible for all the actions of their children?

Especially when it's unpredictable?

»

Repeated massacres have sparked a trend in recent years among prosecutors to try to bring parents to justice.

A father whose son killed seven people during a Fourth of July parade in Illinois was sentenced to 60 days in prison for sponsoring his gun request.

The mother of a 6-year-old child who shot his teacher at school has been sentenced to two years in prison.

The Crumbleys' case is different.

They are accused of involuntary homicide, much more serious charges, and risk fifteen years in prison.

This case, if they are convicted, will it create a precedent in trials for killings?

Lawyers doubt it.

It is unlikely that these charges in the future will become the norm for school shootings

,” says lawyer Dmitriy Shakhnevich, because it is necessary to be able to prove “

a very direct link between the parents' conduct and the violent act of the child

.

In the meantime, the 12 jurors began deliberations.

The verdict must be rendered unanimously.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2024-02-06

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