Families of victims deliver powerful statements as parents of Mich school shooter are sentenced

The parents of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley learned their fate on Tuesday as they were sentenced for their part in the 2021 murder of four students.

“Two separate juries found both James and Jennifer guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting on Nov. 30, 2021, when their then-15-year-old son killed students Tate Myre, 16; Justin Shilling, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and left seven other victims injured,” Fox News reported.

James and Jennifer Crumbley were sentenced by Judge Cheryl Matthews of Oakland County, Michigan to 10 to 15 years each in prison, less the almost two-and-a-half years they have already served. The judge noted that the convictions were not about “poor parenting” that the couple has been accused of as the teen’s father was the one who purchased the gun as a gift that his son used in the shooting.

“These convictions confirm repeated acts, or lack of acts, that could have halted an oncoming runaway train,” Matthews said Tuesday. “Opportunity knocked over and over again, louder and louder, and was ignored.”

The parents of their son’s victims delivered heart-wrenching victim-impact statements, with Nicole Beausoliel, the mother of Madisyn Baldwin, calling the couple out as “failed parents.”

“You’ve shown no remorse or respect to our family,” she said through tears. “The words involuntary should not be a part of your sentence.”

Justin Shilling’s mother asserted that “the ripple effect of James and Jennifer’s failures are felt by all.”

“If only they had done something,” she said. “You failed.”

The Crumbleys were together in court for sentencing for the first time since before their separate cases began.

James Crumbley addressed the court and apologized to the families.

“I really want the families of Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre and Justin Shilling to know how truly, how much, how truly sorry I am and how devastated I was when I heard what happened to them,” he said.

“I have cried for you and the loss of your children more times than I can count. I know your pain and loss will never go away. Part of you will be missing forever. But please know that I am truly very sorry,” he added.

But he ended his message by declaring that the “whole truth” had not come out.

“The whole truth has not been told. And I’m with you. … I too want the truth. You have not had it. You have not had the truth at all,” he said.

Jennifer Crumbley also addressed the court in a statement.

“I’ve taken countless nights in lament over the anguish and shame I carry, knowing what my son did — the harm he caused to innocent lives, the families and to the entire Oxford community,” she said in comments that were decidedly different from her stance during the trial when she excused herself.

“I’ve asked myself if I would have done anything differently, and I wouldn’t have,” she said at the time.

She sought to clarify her controversial comments on Tuesday.

“When I was on the stand, I was asked if I would have done anything different. I was horrified to learn my answer ‘I would not have’ was completely misunderstood. That answer is true because my son did seem so normal. I didn’t have a reason to do anything different. This was not something I foresaw. … ” she said.

“But with the benefit of hindsight and information I have now, my answer would be drastically different. If I even thought my son would be capable of crimes like these, things would have absolutely been different,” she added. “He was not the son I knew when I woke up on Nov. 30.”

According to Fox News, “The parents’ trials have been described as historic, as they are the first parents of a school shooter in U.S. history to be tried for their child’s crimes. Ethan Crumbley’s case was also considered historic because he pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge on top of murder charges. The now-18-year-old will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.”

Frieda Powers


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