5 Cases When Parents Were Convicted After a Shooting by Their Child

A jury on Thursday found James Crumbley partially responsible for the deadliest school shooting in Michigan’s history. Mr. Crumbley’s son, Ethan, killed four people and injured seven more at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit on Nov. 30, 2021.

Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, later pleaded guilty to 24 charges, including first-degree murder, and was sentenced last year to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mr. Crumbley’s wife, Jennifer, was convicted of identical charges of involuntary manslaughter last month. They were the first parents in the country to be directly charged for the deaths caused by a child in a mass shooting at a school.

Here is a look at their case and others in which parents have been found criminally liable after a shooting by their child.

Oxford High School, Michigan, 2021

Ms. Crumbley, 45, was convicted on Feb. 6 on four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each of the four students who were killed. She and her husband had given their son the pistol he used in the shooting as a gift.

Ms. Crumbley faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison; sentencing is scheduled for April 9.

The historic verdict in her case was built on evidence that included text messages and the accounts of a meeting with school officials just hours before the shooting, which jurors felt proved she should have known the mental state of her son. Ethan did not testify in his either of his parents’ trials.

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