Michigan school shooter's parents sentenced to 10-15 years in prison

The parents are the first to be convicted over a school shooting after they were found guilty of manslaughter earlier this year.

Published: April 9, 2024 12:40pm

Updated: April 9, 2024 1:06pm

The parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, who killed four students at Oxford High School in 2021, were sentenced Tuesday to 10-15 years in prison each after they gave their son the gun that he used to carry out the shooting.

Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews called the sentences "reasonable and proportionate" to the crime.

"These convictions are not about poor parenting. These convictions are about repeated acts or lack of acts that could have halted an oncoming runaway train," she said.

Both parents will receive credit for time already served, which is 858 days.

Jennifer and James Crumbley are the first parents to be convicted in connection to a school shooting committed by their child in the United States. Ethan Crumbley, who is now 17, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in December 2023.

In February 2024, a jury found Jennifer Crumbley, 45, guilty of involuntary on four manslaughter charges. James Crumbley, 47, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter the following month.

Prosecutors sought prison sentences of at least 10 years for each parent, while defense attorneys sought less than 5 years for each of them, according to NewsNation. The maximum sentence that the judge could have imposed was 15 years for each manslaughter charge, which would be served consecutively, resulting in 60 years behind bars for each parent. 

The shooting in the Detroit suburb resulted in the deaths of students Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Justin Shilling, 17, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17. Seven other people were also injured in the attack.

Baldwin's mother, Nicole Beausoleil, became emotional when she made a witness impact statement before the court on Tuesday. She compared her actions as a caring mother to those of Jennifer Crumbley's.

"When you worried about what people thought of you and feeling threatened, I was learning your son threatened my daughter and fatally shot her in the head," she said.

"While you were hiding, I was planning her funeral, and while you were running away from your son and your responsibilities, I was forced to do the worst possible thing a parent could do. I was forced to say goodbye to my Madisyn."

She also said: "Not only did your son kill my daughter but you both did as well."

James Crumbley also became emotional when he gave his impact statement. He said he had no idea that his son would have committed the shooting, and he would have done things differently if he had known what the result would be.

"My heart pours out to every single one of you," he told family members of the deceased students. He also asked the judge to sentence him in a "fair and just way." His attorney asked the judge to sentence him to time served plus supervision.

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