James Crumbley Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter Charges

(NewsSpace.com) – In October 2021, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley opened fire at Oxford High School, killing four students and injuring six others, plus a teacher. In the aftermath, prosecutors charged his parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each. Those charges were the first of their kind in the US. In February, Mrs. Crumbley was found guilty. Mr. Crumbley has since been found guilty as well.

A jury handed down the verdict of guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter on Thursday, March 14. In presenting their case, the prosecution pointed out that Mr. Crumbley ignored multiple warnings that his son needed help and his failure to secure the gun used in the shooting. One of the warning signs that Ethan needed help came on the day of the shooting itself.

The Crumbleys were called to the school to discuss a teacher finding violent drawings by their son that morning. Those images had phrases like “blood everywhere,” “my life is useless,” and “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me,” along with a bloody figure and a gun. School officials told the Crumbleys they had to get their son help within 48 hours, but they refused to remove him from school that day. He would go on to carry out the shooting just a few hours later.

James Crumbley’s lawyer, Mariell Lehman, argued that her client had no idea “what was going on with his son,” and “didn’t know what his son was planning.” However, the prosecution made it clear that he wasn’t on trial for what his son did, but for his failures in securing the gun. Karen McDonald, the prosecutor in the case, even did a demonstration to show how quickly the weapon could be locked in its case—in mere seconds. Yet, authorities who searched the home found the gun box unsecured, open on the parents’ bed, and missing ammunition.

Both Crumbleys will be sentenced on April 9 and face up to 15 years in prison. Ethan Crumbley was sentenced to life without the chance of parole last December.

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