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James Crumbley’s manslaughter trial continues

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(PONTIAC, Mich.) — James Crumbley’s trial continued on Monday in its third day of testimony. The prosecution has sought to place blame on him, claiming he could have prevented the shooting if he had not ignored the warning signs exhibited by his son leading up to the November 2021 shooting.


The father of a Michigan school shooter is facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter for his alleged role in the shooting. His son Ethan Crumbley, who was only 15 years old at the time of the shooting, killed four of his classmates and injured seven others.

Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17, were killed in the shooting.

James Crumbley’s trial comes weeks after Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty of the same four charges. She will be sentenced in April. Their cases are a rare instance of parents being held criminally responsible in connection with a shooting carried out by their child.

Ethan Crumbley was sentenced to life in prison without parole in December after he pleaded guilty to 24 counts including first-degree premeditated murder and terrorism causing death.

The parents had bought their son the gun used in the shooting just days before. Prosecutors have argued that the parents ignored warning signs raised against the shooter which could have prevented it from happening.

Among the signs was a meeting called by school officials the morning of the shooting after concerning and violent drawings were found on their son’s math test. After a school counselor spoke with Ethan Crumbley, they expressed concerns that he may harm himself.

School officials called the Crumbley parents to the school and told them their son needed immediate mental health care, offering them a list of facilities that could have provided him care that day. But, the parents allegedly told school officials they needed to return to work and could not take their son home.

The shooting happened that afternoon.

During Jennifer Crumbley’s trial, she admitted on the stand that she would have been able to leave work for the day on the morning of the shooting to care for her son. Her former boss had revealed she could have also brought her son to work with her if she needed to.

Last week, prosecutors argued that James Crumbley set his own hours and could have taken his son with him while he worked that day, since he was a DoorDash driver. Prosecutors also presented evidence that he had not yet signed onto work for the day before the meeting at the school, only logging on at 11 a.m.

James Crumbley also made a 911 call to police after news of the shooting had spread after he had discovered that the gun he purchased for his son was missing from their home. He identified his son as the suspected shooter, despite police not making that information public yet.

James Crumbley’s communications from prison have been limited by Judge Cheryl Matthews until the jury reaches a verdict after he allegedly made threats from prison toward an undisclosed person. He will be allowed to conduct research and communicate with his attorney on matters related to his defense.

Opening statements in the trial began on Thursday after the jury was seated on Wednesday. The jury consists of nine women and six men.

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