What's next for James, Jennifer Crumbley after Oxford High School shooter sentenced to life in prison

While their son will spend the rest of his life in prison, the parents of the Oxford High School shooter are still waiting to find out if they will also serve time behind bars for the shooting.

READ: Oxford High School shooter sentenced to life in prison without parole

James and Jennifier Crumbley are each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the deadly Nov. 30, 2021, school shooting committed by their son.

Why the Crumbley parents were charged

James bought his son the gun used just days before the shooting that left four students dead. During his plea hearing last year, the shooter, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, said he gave his father the money to buy him the weapon.

In addition to buying him a gun, prosecutors argue that both James and Jennifer ignored their son's mental health concerns. They have shown text messages and journal entries in court that they say support this accusation.

In an exchange on March 8, 2021, Jennifer messaged James saying she was "freaking out" because she couldn't reach her son after school. She was also frustrated with James not picking him up "because he’s upset, and I don’t want him to do anything stupid."


Oxford High School shooting: New evidence reveals James, Jennifer Crumbley's 'consciousness of guilt'

A case filing reveals more details that the prosecution says prove Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley's parents were negligent ahead of the crime.

The prosecution argues that this shows the parents were aware of their son's mental distress. 

Defense attorneys have argued that whatever the parents did might have been considered bad parenting, but it was not the cause of the deaths, and they want the case thrown out because they aren't responsible for the actions of their son.

Crumbleys try to get Supreme Court review

In March, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that there was enough evidence to try James and Jennifer, so they took their request to the Supreme Court a few months later. They were asking the court to hear the motion and dismiss charges against them.

The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

If the court had agreed to hear it, details from the preliminary examination and other court proceedings would have been debated. However, since this was denied the appeals court ruling stands.

What happens next

James and Jennifer will have their own trials after a judge granted a request to have them separated last month.

Both trials begin on Jan. 23, 2024.

If they are convicted, they are looking at prison time. Involuntary manslaughter in Michigan carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. 

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