Prosecutors say parents of school shooter Ethan Crumbley show ‘chilling lack of remorse’ after manslaughter convictions

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James and Jennifer Crumbley were convicted of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year in separate trials.


In recently filed court papers, Michigan prosecutors ask judge to sentence parents of school shooter Ethan Crumbley to at least 10 years in prison, alleging that both showed a “chilling lack of remorse” after were convicted for involuntary manslaughter.

In two separate sentencing memos dated April 3, Oakland County prosecutors asked the judge to sentence each parent to 10 to 15 years in state prison.

Prosecutors allege Crumbley’s father has repeatedly threatened prosecutor Karen McDonald and said “there will be retaliation,” while Crumbley’s mother has asked to serve her sentence under house arrest at her defense attorney’s home.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in two separate trials this year for their role in the mass shooting of their son at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021. Jurors found that both were grossly negligent in allowing Let your teen own a gun and ignore the signs of his spiraling mental health. Ethan, who was 15 at the time, killed four classmates: Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16 years old; Hana Santa Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, and injured seven other people.

His parents have been behind bars since they were arrested in December 2021 at a Detroit warehouse after top authorities on a manhunt after the school shooting.

They are scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday. Shannon Smith, Jennifer Crumbley’s defense attorney, had no comment when contacted by CNN.

CNN also reached out to an attorney for James Crumbley, but did not receive a response. The defense’s pre-sentence filings have not yet been filed in public records.

In an unusual move, prosecutors made public excerpts from the pre-sentence investigation reports and included statements from both defendants written after jurors found them guilty of the murders.

In the prosecution’s sentencing memo for James Crumbley, prosecutors noted that “his jail calls show a complete lack of remorse, he blames everyone but himself, and he threatened the elected prosecutor.” They also note that the father has repeatedly said that he is being persecuted and has referred to himself as a “martyr.”

“After he could no longer express his threats through jail calls because his privileges were revoked, he decided to give the middle finger to the prosecution in the middle of the trial,” the memo says.

In a pre-sentence investigative report completed this week, James Crumbley wrote that he feels “absolutely horrible/I am (devastated) by what happened” and that he “would give anything to go back and do something different that would have changed what ( happened) ).”

In that report, he argues that he should be released from prison after the time he has already served, noting that “I am wrongfully accused and now wrongfully convicted of involuntary manslaughter.”

“Ethan always seemed to be a very stable person. He never said anything to me that was bothering him,’” wrote James Crumbley. He later added: “I followed the law and took gun safety to the point it needed to be. “My gun was hidden in a place that, until I discovered otherwise, only I knew.”

At James Crumbley’s trial, jurors found that he was grossly negligent because he purchased the gun for his son just days before Ethan used it in the attack, failed to properly secure it, and failed to take “reasonable care” to prevent foreseeable danger. In text messages presented in court, Ethan wrote to a friend that he was overhearing people talking to him and texted: “Yesterday I asked my dad to take me to the doctor, but he just gave me some pills and He said, ‘Suck.’ above'”.

“As if that’s the point at which I’m asking to be given [sic] the doctor. “My mom laughed when I told her,” Ethan said in the messages.

In the sentencing memo for Jennifer Crumbley, prosecutors pointed to statements she made on the stand during her trial, where she testified: “I wondered if I would have done anything differently, and I wouldn’t have done it.”

“This was not even the first time the defendant made these types of statements,” prosecutors wrote in the memo. “In one of his jailhouse calls, he previously said, “I wouldn’t do anything different.”

In her pre-sentence report, Jennifer Crumbley acknowledged that she testified that she would not have done anything differently, but said “that is true without the benefit of the hindsight that I have now.”

“With the information I have now, of course my answer would be vastly different,” he said, according to the report. “There are so many things I would change if I could go back in time. I knew my son was a calm and good person who loved his pets. I never imagined he would hurt other people the way he did.”

“I have been in prison for more than 26 months and I have been locked up 23 hours a day,” he added. “I am hopeful that the Court will sentence me in a manner that will allow me to be released for the remainder of my sentence. “I have an address in Oakland County where I could live and receive house arrest.”

Jennifer Crumbley asked to be placed under house arrest at her defense attorney’s home, according to prosecutors. Smith, her attorney, notified the court that Crumbley could stay at her boarding house while she served her sentence, according to her memo.

“The proposed sentence is a slap in the face to the severity of the tragedy caused by the gross negligence of the defendant, the victims and their families, and the applicable law which is based on the concept of proportionate sentencing.”

CNN’s Eric Levenson and Jean Casarez contributed to this report.

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