The Michigan Supreme Court has denied an appeal from the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the teenager who shot and killed four students at Oxford High School in 2021. James and Jennifer Crumbley will now stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges. The court’s decision upholds an earlier ruling by the appeals court in March, which stated that the couple could face trial.
Prosecutors have accused the parents of making a gun accessible to their son and neglecting his mental health needs. They allege that the Crumbleys allowed Ethan to access the gun and taught him how to shoot. The shooting took place when Ethan was 15 years old and resulted in the deaths of Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, and Justin Shilling. Six students and a teacher were also injured.
Prior to the shooting, a teacher reported that Ethan had been looking at pictures of ammunition. On the day of the incident, the parents and their son met with school staff to discuss the issue, but no one checked Ethan’s backpack for a gun. The parents have been in custody since shortly after the shooting, held on a $500,000 bond.
The defense lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley argue that the shooting was not foreseeable and that their alleged actions do not amount to involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Ethan Crumbley, who was charged as an adult, is expected to be sentenced on December 8 in Oakland County, Michigan.