James Crumbley trial: 1 Oxford High School shooting victim can testify

James Crumbley during a court hearing on Feb. 21, 2024

One Oxford High School shooting victim will be allowed to testify at James Crumbley's trial, Judge Cheryl Matthews ruled.

During a hearing last week, the prosecution asked to allow the original owner of the gun used in the shooting to testify, along with two student victims of the Nov. 30, 2021 school shooting. Matthews ruled that day that the former gun owner could testify, but she took longer to decide on the students.

"The Court concludes that the testimony from one eyewitness would not be needlessly cumulative, a waste of time, unduly prejudicial with certain restrictions, and would be more than marginally probative," Matthews wrote in her ruling.

Prosecutors will decide which of the two victims they will call to testify during the trial, which begins with jury selection next week.

What is James Crumbley charged with?

James Crumbley is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count for each student killed by his son at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. 

A jury found his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, guilty of the same charges in early February. She will be sentenced April 9.

What did James Crumbley do?

James Crumbley is accused of buying his son the gun used to kill four people and injure others. 

His son pleaded guilty to all charges against him and is now in prison. During his plea hearing he admitted that he gave James the money to buy the gun.

During Jennifer's trial, she testified that the gun was her husband's responsibility; she said she was not comfortable with guns and was not involved in handling or buying it. She also testified that James had hidden the gun before their son took it to school.

The parents are also accused of ignoring concerns about their son's mental health.

Witnesses called by the prosecution during Jennifer's trial described a meeting between the Crumbley parents and school officials the morning of the shooting. The parents were called after violent drawings were discovered on their son's schoolwork. 

During this meeting, a school counselor told the parents to get their son mental health help as soon as possible and recommended that they take him home from school. However, the parents chose not to take him home.

What kind of sentence is James Crumbley facing?

Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison in Michigan. The court does have the discretion to do consecutive sentencing, which, due to the four counts, would be 60 years. However, the maximum he could get will likely be 15 years. 

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