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James, Jennifer Crumbley get 10-15 years for role in Oxford shooting – Detroit Free Press

Published April 9, 2024 By admin

In a climactic ending to a historic case, a judge sentenced James and Jennifer Crumbley both to 10-15 years in prison for their roles in the 2021 Oxford High School mass shooting committed by their son, who murdered four students, injured seven other people and terrorized a community using a gun that he had long begged for.Before handing down the sentence, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews addressed the victims’ families, telling them: “I can’t and will not pretend to understand the pain that these families are experiencing. … I saw what you saw. I heard what you heard.”After offering her “most sincere condolences” to the grieving families, Matthews then turned her attention to the Crumbleys, and schooled them on parenting.”Parenting is a complex job,” the judge said. “Parents are not expected to be psychic. But these convictions are not about poor parenting. These convictions are (about acts) that could have halted a runaway train.

“She added: “Opportunity knocked over and over again … and no one answered.”Mr. Crumbley, it’s clear to this court that because of you, there was unfettered access to a gun or guns, as well as ammunition, in your home.”She termed Jennifer Crumbley’s behavior at the school the day of the shooting “apathetic.”In the end, the judge concluded the state’s recommended sentencing guidelines of 43-86 months did not take into account the harm of the shooting and the “lack of responsibility” that the Crumbleys continue to take.James Crumbley bought the 9mm handgun used in the shooting as an early Christmas present on Black Friday, setting the stage for the terrifying massacre just four days later that robbed parents of their children, horrified a school community and landed the Crumbley parents in history books.James and Jennifer Crumbley are the first parents in America to be held criminally responsible in a mass shooting committed by their child. Separate juries this year convicted both parents on four counts of involuntary manslaughter — one for each student their son murdered: Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17.More:Jennifer Crumbley expresses sorrow, hatred for prosecutors: ‘Alone, I grieve’The Crumbleys, who are planning appeals, had asked to be sentenced to time served.

They have been jailed for almost 2½ years on $500,000 bond each. The judge gave them credit for time served.Victims’ parents react to sentenceNicole Beausoleil, mother of Madisyn Baldwin, told reporters after the sentencing that she thought James Crumbley’s mention of holding the school accountable during his statement Tuesday was another attempt to play victim in the trial.“If he wanted the truth, he would have been speaking the truth the whole time and had remorse the whole time,” she said.Beausoleil said she thought she’d be more emotional, considering the sentence of 10-15 years is what she wanted. all along.“I think it’s what we hoped for for so long that it was just the next step” before going after Oxford schools, she said.Steve St. Juliana, the father of Hana St. Juliana, said Jennifer and James Crumbley didn’t take accountability for their actions in their statements during Tuesday’s hearing.“Not once did they say, ‘I wished I would have locked the gun up’ and acknowledge that they’re not the victims in this,” he said.Asked about his thoughts on James Crumbley’s comments seeking accountability from Oxford Schools, Craig Shilling, the father of Justin Shilling, said it was the parents who could have stopped their son.“Ultimately, it was in their hands,” he said. “They are the ones that control their son and they have the power to do what needs to be done and they didn’t do that.”He said the sentence for James and Jennifer Crumbley was “just.”“The fact that they didn’t show that level of remorse until the end — that half-baked attempt anyway — was too little too late,” he said.

Karen McDonald: ‘It is preventable, that is my message’Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said she was “thankful” for the sentence on behalf of the victims. Matthews seemed to understand the weight of these crimes, she said.“Yes, it’s an emotional, terrible tragedy but the sentence and the convictions were based on facts and evidence,” she said.Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Marc Keast said both parents’ remarks Tuesday failed to take accountability for their actions.The judge has yet to rule on whether Jennifer and James Crumbley may have contact with their son, McDonald said. Prosecutors will be reviewing policies by the Michigan Department of Corrections to ensure the Crumbleys are treated the same way as any other co-defendant.But McDonald said it’s important to note that the Crumbleys haven’t been allowed to have contact with their son through these cases.“The defense stated that they have a constitutional right to be a family and the parents in that courtroom have been deprived of their constitutional right to be parents and so that matters,” she said.McDonald stressed that her office is not done trying to prevent gun violence in Oakland County and that there’s more to do to stop gun violence in the community.“Don’t look away, these were tragic and awful deaths, what these families have gone through, and it is preventable, it is preventable, that is my message,” she said.The shooter’s parents’ perspective The Crumbley parents have maintained that they saw no signs that their son would hurt anyone or was mentally ill, that they did not know of his plan to shoot up the school and that the gun was not a gift or his to freely use, but was hidden in a bedroom armoire, unloaded in a case and was to be used only at the shooting range with his dad.

The prosecution portrayed the Crumbleys as selfish and neglectful parents, alleging they ignored their son’s mental health struggles and bought him a gun instead of getting him help.In both trials, prosecutors argued that the parents, more than anyone else, could have prevented the massacre had they taken the “smallest” of steps, like putting a cable lock on the gun, storing it in a locked safe, and telling the school about the weapon when they were summoned over a troubling drawing their son had made on the morning of the shooting. It featured a gun, a human body bleeding, and the words, “The thoughts won’t stop, help me.”The Crumbleys vowed to get their son help within 48 hours and returned to their jobs. The school counselor and dean of students concluded the boy posed no threat to himself or anyone, and allowed him to return to class.Two hours later, the teen fired his first shot.Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty to his crimes and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.Separate lawsuits have been filed against the school and various officials, alleging the school failed to take proper action on the day of the shooting — and before — and consequently put students in harm’s way. Two judges have dismissed both cases on governmental immunity grounds; the lawsuits are pending before appeals courts.Contact Tresa Baldas: tbaldas@freepress.com

SOURCE: Detroit Free Press


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