James Crumbley Found Guilty in Michigan School Shooting Trial

A jury found James Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter late Thursday after about 11 hours of deliberation, holding him partially responsible for failing to prevent his son from carrying out Michigan’s deadliest school shooting.

Mr. Crumbley’s wife, Jennifer Crumbley, was convicted of identical charges last month in the same Pontiac, Mich., courtroom, after a jury deliberated for roughly the same amount of time. The trials became a lightning rod for issues of parental responsibility at a time of high-profile gun violence by minors.

The parenting skills of each defendant came under intense scrutiny, as did the shooter’s access to a handgun that his father had purchased. Now, two separate juries have taken the unusual step of holding a parent criminally responsible for a child’s horrific crimes.

The repeated result “cements the concept that the prosecution here found a successful playbook, and they used it again,” said Mark D. Chutkow, a lawyer and former federal prosecutor in Michigan.

Oakland County prosecutors charged the Crumbleys three days after the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School, where their son, Ethan, who was 15 at the time, killed Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Justin Shilling, 17; and Hana St. Juliana, 14, and injured seven others.

“James Crumbley was presented with the easiest, most glaring opportunities to prevent the deaths of these four students,” Karen McDonald, the prosecutor in Oakland County, said in closing arguments on Wednesday. “And he did nothing.”

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