James and Jennifer Crumbley were the parents of the teenage suspect in the shooting deaths at Oxford High School, Michigan. They appeared yesterday in court for probable cause conferences. The Crumbleys, who bought their 15-year-old son, Ethan, the handgun he allegedly used in the deadly attack, each face four involuntary manslaughter charges—a highly unusual attempt to hold parents criminally responsible for a school shooting. While the prosecution cites substantial evidence that suggests that defendants were negligent it is unclear that their actions satisfy the requirements of involuntary murder. These charges can result in up to 15 years imprisonment and are a attempt to charge the couple with crimes that do not fall under Michigan law.
According to Karen McDonald, the Oakland County Prosecuting attorney, James Crumbley brought his son, Ethan, to Acme Shooting Goods, Oxford. There, he purchased a pistol, the 9mm SIG Sauer SP-2022, as an early Christmas present. Ethan wrote, in a post on social media, that he had just received his new beauty. SIG Sauer 9 mm. All questions will be answered.”
Ethan was browsing the internet for ammunition online while in class on the day prior to the shooting. Ethan revealed to school officials at that meeting that he enjoyed shooting sports. This explained why he had been browsing online for ammunition. Jennifer Crumbley was unsuccessfully contacted by the school. She later texted her son, saying, “LOL, I’m not mad.” Learn to avoid being caught.
McDonalds says that on the day of the shooting, McDonald’s said that Ethan saw a note from his teacher. The note contained “a drawing of a semiautomatic pistol, with the words: “The thoughts won’t stop.” “Help me. The bullet was drawn with the words ‘Blood everywhere’ above it. Between was “a drawing showing a man who appeared to have been shot two times.” [is]Bloody,” and “below the figure is an illustration of a laughing emoticon.” Ethan wrote “my world is dying” and “my life is meaningless.”
The discovery inspired a second conversation, with Ethan’s parents. Ethan stated that he was creating a video game, and that the photograph was part of his process. His parents, according to school officials refused to allow him to receive counselling within 48 hours. They also declined to let him go home during the day. McDonald’s says that Jennifer Crumbley, James Crumbley, and their son failed to inquire if they had a gun and where it was. McDonald’s also claims that Jennifer Crumbley did not inspect the backpack of James Crumbley for evidence.
Ethan was sent back to school by the school, and the shooting occurred shortly thereafter. Officials at the school stated that Ethan did not have any disciplinary issues and that Ethan’s “behaviors, responses, and demeanor did not indicate he was a danger to others. They also said they didn’t know that he had had unsupervised access of a gun. McDonald’s claims that the gun was unlocked and stored in a drawer in James or Jennifer’s bedroom. Shannon Smith was one of Crumbleys’ attorneys and he disputed that fact when she plead not guilty. She stated the gun had been locked. Smith stated that “when the prosecution is stating this child had free access, it is absolutely false.”
McDonald’s claims that “news about the Oxford High School active shooter had been made public”. Jennifer Crumbley sent her son another text message, telling him, “Ethan don’t do this.” 15 minutes later James Crumbley, a father of two, called 911 to report that his gun had gone missing and that his son might be responsible.
The school was criticized for not allowing Ethan Crumbley to return to class. Geoffrey Fieger of the Geoffrey Fieger Law Firm, which plans to sue for $100M in federal court against the school district, stated that administrators allowed Ethan Crumbley, an insane, homicidal student, to go back to class carrying a gun and more than 30 rounds ammo. This was when they realized he was a threat to his life. Prosecutors argue that Ethan Crumbley’s parents remain jailed after the judge placed their bond at $500,000 each and they failed to stop the shooting.
Michigan law holds that an involuntary killing is a crime when the defendant intentionally causes death by gross negligence. Michigan’s guidelines for jurors state that “gross negligence” is more than mere carelessness. You willfully disregard the possible consequences for others that could result from your act or inaction.
It is necessary for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that “the defendant was aware of the danger to other,” which means that he knew that there were a particular situation. [him]to exercise ordinary care in order to injure no other”; that “the accused could have avoided injuring any other person using ordinary care”; that “the plaintiff failed to use normal care to prevent injuring any other when to a reasonable individual, it had to have been obvious that the outcome was likely to result in serious injury.”
James Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley are certain to contest the assertion that they “knew the danger to another,” which is an integral element of their crime. Andrew McCarthy points out that the events at Oxford High School could have been predicted in an abstract sense. National ReviewIt was “but it wasn’t foreseen” in real life, she said. Prosecutors argue Jennifer Crumbley sent a text message to her son, and James Crumbley called 911 after the shooting began. This suggests that they knew their son was dangerous. But their suspicion once the attack began—in light of what had happened at the school meeting earlier that day and, in the father’s case, his discovery that the gun was missing—is not the same as recognizing the threat in advance and “willfully disregarding” it.
Mariell Lehman and Smith, an additional attorney representing James Crumbley and Jennifer Crumbley claim that the McDonald’s story is misleading. In a statement made to NPR, they stated that the prosecution had cherry-picked specific facts and altered them to support their story. We intend to fight the case in court, not in court of public opinion. The truth will prevail in the end, we know this.
Many people will agree with McDonald’s that the Crumbleys did not exercise “ordinary care”. McDonald’s says that she is trying to send the message to gun owners that they have a responsibility and that if they don’t uphold it, then there will be serious and even criminal consequences.
While 16 states already have laws that allow adults to be prosecuted for giving minors unsupervised gun access, Michigan isn’t one of those. This “child access prevention” (CAP), law has been repeatedly rejected by the state legislature. The state does not require firearm storage (meaning they must be locked and unloaded and kept separate from ammunition) as do six other states and the District of Columbia.
McCarthy, who was formerly a federal prosecutor concedes that James Crumbley’s judgment and actions were appalling and make it seem like they are utterly reckless. He argues, however that the prosecutors have used involuntary murder charges to replace charges Michigan hasn’t authorized.
McCarthy claims that Michigan lawmakers “refused” to criminalize Crumbley’s parents’ conduct. McCarthy said that prosecutors “are trying in the heat-of-the moment to criminalize their conduct.” McCarthy writes that while the couple may be facing significant civil liability and rightfully so, it does not necessarily mean they are guilty or responsible for a crime. homicide—a much more serious crime, even in the form of involuntary manslaughter, than the CAP crime that Michigan has refused to codify.”
Jonathan Turley, George Washington University’s law professor, also doubts that the prosecution will be able to prove its case. “I don’t have the evidence I need to prove that parents were complicit or negligent. saidTweet. “The issue is whether or not there was actual knowledge of the parent’s complicity in the negligence. If so, this case may be a strong cause for appeal.