Court Drops the Hammer on School Shooter’s Parents

( – Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre,16, and Justin Shilling, 17. Those are the names of the four children who went to their Michigan high school and never came home on November 30, 2021. The parents of the teen who killed them are now going to prison for a very long time.

Oxford High School Shooting and Convictions

Ethan Crumbley’s father, James Crumbley, purchased a gun for his son that he used to murder four of his schoolmates and injure seven others at Oxford High School. Jennifer Crumbley took him to the gun range days before the shooting. On the morning of November 30, both parents went to the school for a meeting after one of his teachers discovered violent drawings on his work.

The drawings were of a firearm that looked like the new gun Ethan just received, blood everywhere, and a plea for help. The Crumbleys refused to take their son home that day. They also didn’t let the school know that he had access to a firearm. Hours later, Ethan carried out the murders.

When authorities announced they were going to arrest the Crumbleys for their role in the shootings, they fled. Police eventually captured them and charged them in the deaths of the four teens. Prosecutors pointed out that not only did they not do anything to get their son help, but they also failed to secure the weapon they bought for him.

Jennifer and James were both convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in separate trials. Ethan Crumbley is serving life for the murders.


On April 9, both Jennifer and James attended a sentencing hearing in Oakland County Circuit Court before Judge Cheryl Matthews. The New York Times reported the judge told the Crumbleys that although she didn’t expect parents to be “psychic,” they repeatedly ignored signs that their son was a danger. She sentenced both of them to 10 to 15 years in prison. They would each receive time served for the two years they’ve already been in jail.

Some of the relatives of the victims gave impact statements before the sentencing. Justin’s mother, Jill Soave, said the Crumbleys’ “failures to act have devastated [them] all.” She called the shooting “completely preventable” and said that had the defendants taken action, their “four angels would be [there] today.”

Steve St. Juliana, Hana’s dad, accused the Crumbleys of continuing to “blame everyone but themselves.” Like Justin’s mom, he said that they “chose to ignore the warning signs.”

The Crumbley cases are the first time in the US that parents have been held accountable for mass shootings carried out by their children.

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