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US: Parents of Michigan school shooter sentenced to 10-15 years in prison

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 April 2024, 9:58 IST
James and Jennifer Crumbley during court procedural hearing in Michigan (File)

Michigan [US]: The parents of the teenager who killed four students in a school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, in 2021, were each sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison on Tuesday, CNN reported.

They are the first parents to be held criminally responsible for the shootings committed by their children as the US continues to face incidents of gunfire on campus and mass shootings.

The couple has been sentenced weeks after being convicted of manslaughter. James and Jennifer Crumbley, who each had faced up to 15 years in prison, have already been in prison for over two years since their arrest in a Detroit warehouse days after the shooting.

Although James and Jennifer Crumbley were tried separately, however, their sentencing took place together in an Oakland County courtroom.

Several family members of the four students killed in the shooting made emotional victim impact statements before the judge announced the sentence.

Justin Shilling's mother said "the ripple effects of both James and Jennifer's failures to act" to stop their son from conducting deadly shootings "have devastated us all."

Another victim, Hana St Juliana's father, said the Crumbleys continue to deflect blame. He further said that his daughter's death "destroyed a large portion of my very soul."

In a statement to the court, Jennifer Crumbley offered condolences to the victims and their families. She stated that her previous statement, which she made in her defence during her trial in February, was "completely misunderstood."

Previously, Jennifer Crumbley had said, "I've asked myself if I would have done anything differently, and I wouldn't have." Now, before sentencing, she said if she knew her son was capable of the crimes committed, her answer would have "absolutely been different."

James Crumbley apologised to the victims, something he said he had not been able to do yet. He said he did not know that his son was planning a shooting in school and requested the judge, "sentence me in a fair way," CNN reported.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald requested the judge to exceed the sentencing guidelines for the Crumbleys and consider the "devastating impact of their gross negligence that was foreseeable."

In separate pre-sentencing memos, the attorneys for the parents requested the court to sentence them to less than five years in prison. Judge Cheryl Matthews said the decision should be a deterrent to try to stop school shootings in the future.


First published: 10 April 2024, 9:58 IST