Prosecutors Sought Fifteen Years in Prison for Jennifer and James Crumbley

( — Prosecutors in the case against James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of school shooter Ethan Crumbley, have asked for the parents to receive a 15-year prison sentence due to their involvement in the murders perpetrated by their teenage son. Following the initial shooting, investigators began looking into the events preceding the shooting, which resulted in a manslaughter case against both of Ethan Crumbley’s parents. Juries convicted both parents for their role in the high school shooting, with both facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Ethan Crumbley first made national headlines after he committed a school shooting at Oxford High School. Crumbley killed four of his fellow students during the shooting and wounded seven other people before eventually surrendering to authorities. A jury convicted Crumbley in 2023, with the teen receiving a life sentence for the spree killing. Crumbley was 17 years old during his sentencing in December 2023, making him the first teenager to receive a life sentence after the United States Supreme Court determined minors could spend life in prison for severe offenses.

While Crumbley’s parents didn’t actively participate in the school shooting, prosecutors claim that they directly contributed to Crumbley’s ability to kill. Prosecutors argued that Crumbley’s parents willingly ignored a series of concerning events involving their son, which, if heeded properly, would’ve resulted in an intervention and prevented the tragedy. Evidence indicates that both James and Jennifer Crumbley knew about their son’s odd behavior in the months before the shooting and failed to act. The two parents also reportedly purchased their son a firearm, which he used during the heinous shooting spree.

Crumbley’s parents argued against the prosecutors’ allegations, claiming they lacked any knowledge about their son’s violent disposition or his plan to commit the school shooting. Evidence indicates otherwise, as multiple school officials testified that they spoke to Crumbley’s parents and recommended medical treatment for the disturbed teen, warnings that went unheeded by Crumbley’s parents. The two parents stood trial separately, with both failing to convince a jury and both receiving guilty verdicts.

A jury convicted Crumbley’s mother in February, finding her guilty of manslaughter on four separate offenses. Jennifer Crumbley’s conviction marks the first time a parent has been determined guilty of their child’s school shooting, which could become more common given the success of the Crumbley parents’ prosecutors. Crumbley’s parents both spoke out against their convictions, claiming they didn’t violate the law and had been convicted erroneously. James Crumbley appeared in court on April 9th for his sentencing hearing, which saw him laden with a sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison; his wife, Jennifer, received the same.

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