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Parents of Michigan School Shooter Sentenced to 10 to 15 Years in Prison

Jennifer and James Crumbley, who were convicted of involuntary manslaughter for failing to prevent their teenage son from killing four fellow students in the deadliest school shooting in Michigan’s history, were each sentenced on Tuesday to 10 to 15 years in prison. Their separate jury trials ended in guilty verdicts in February and March, making them the first parents in the country to be convicted over the deaths caused by their child in a mass shooting, The New York Times reports. Involuntary manslaughter charges carry a penalty in Michigan of up to 15 years in prison, and prosecutors asked in sentencing memos filed to the court last week that the Crumbleys each serve at least 10 years. Both have been in jail for over two years while awaiting trial and will receive credit for time served.


“Parents are not expected to be psychic,” Judge Cheryl Matthews of the Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac, Mich., said before issuing the sentence. “But these convictions are not about poor parenting. These convictions confirm repeated acts or lack of acts that could have halted an oncoming runaway train — repeatedly ignoring things that would make a reasonable person feel the hair on the back of her neck stand up.” Before the hearing, prosecutors said Ms. Crumbley, 46, was asking to be sentenced to house arrest on her defense lawyer’s property, rather than serving prison time. Mr. Crumbley, 47, said that he had been wrongly convicted and his sentence should amount to the time he had already served in prison. The Crumbley trials highlighted parental responsibility amid a surge in gun violence by minors. Similar cases in other states saw parents pleading guilty to reckless conduct and negligence as their children harmed others with firearms. Legal experts believe the manslaughter charges against the Crumbleys could set a precedent for prosecuting parents in similar cases.

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