The mother of school shooter Ethan Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley, faces 15 years in prison after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter after being held accountable for the school shooting carried out by her son.

Ethan killed four students and injured seven in Michigan’s worst shooting of all time at Oxford High School in a suburb of Detroit in November 2021. At the sentencing of his trial, he received multiple life sentences without parole. He pleaded guilty to all charges and stated that his parents did not know anything about his plans to carry out a school shooting. He said that they were not responsible for his actions.

Ethan’s parents are the first in the United States to be charged in a mass shooting case. Now, prosecutors nationwide are looking at whether they can use this case as a model to pursue other parents of school shooters. 

Prosecutors cite several different missed warning signs as evidence that Crumbley’s parents are responsible for the attack, stating that it was negligence that left their child with unaddressed mental health issues and unsupervised access to a firearm. Ethan was given a gun four days prior to the shooting by his father, James Crumbley. The day after, Jennifer made an Instagram post about an outing with her son to the shooting range for practice. 

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One day before the shooting, Ethan was found looking at ammunition on his phone.

Shortly before the shooting, Ethan made drawings that depicted violence. On them, he wrote, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” This prompted the school to call Ethan’s parents in and discuss with them the need to put their son in counseling, which they dismissed. They left the school 30 minutes after entering.

Crumbley’s attorney argued in her defense that she could not have anticipated the shooting and that she should not be held responsible for her child’s actions.

The parents have been held in jail for more than two years because of their inability to post bail. James Crumbley’s trial will be held in March.

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