Parents of Michigan School Shooter Face Charges

Parents of Michigan School Shooter Face Charges

Parents of Michigan School Shooter Face Charges


James and Jennifer Crumbley are the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old Michigan boy who shot up his high school on Tuesday. They’re also in deep doo-doo, because not only are they charged with manslaughter, but they’re also on the run.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said the Crumbley’s attorney had agreed to arrange their arrest, but they’ve now disappeared. Bouchard wrote in a statement:

“The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges. They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”

So their kid is in prison, wearing a suicide vest, facing charges of murder, attempted murder, and even terrorism, and they run. Not exactly Parents of the Year, are they?


Daily Mail from Facebook.

But then again, the details that Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed are also shocking.

In a press conference she explained why her office is charging the parents with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Under Michigan law, prosecutors can file such charges against individuals who have contributed to a situation where the probability of harm or death is high. McDonald cited the following reasons for filing charges:

  1. On November 21, Ethan’s teacher noticed him searching for information about ammunition on his cell phone during class. The school contacted his mother, both by phone and by email. She did not respond to either; however, she texted Ethan “Lol I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”
  2. On November 26, Ethan’s father purchased a 9mm Sig Sauer SP 2022 for Ethan as a Christmas present. Ethan accompanied his father. The next day Ethan’s mother posted on social media that she and Ethan were “testing out his new Xmas present.”
  3. On November 30, Ethan’s teacher found a note on his desk, which depicted a gun, bullets, profuse blood, and a shooting victim. Ethan added a laughing emoji. He also wrote “Thoughts won’t stop, help me;” “my life is useless;” “the world is dead.” The school called Ethan’s parents, who came to the school. During the conference, the parents did not ask Ethan the whereabouts of his gun, nor did they inspect his backpack. In the meantime, Ethan had also altered the note; however, the teacher had taken a picture of it with her cell phone.

Despite all this, Ethan’s parents refused to take him home and left him at school. Then, at 12:51, Ethan opened fire and killed four students. A half-hour after the shooting, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, pleading with him “Don’t do it.” At 1:37, James Crumbley called 911 to report the gun missing. He also said the his son might have it.

At first I didn’t know how to react to the news that parents would be charged with the crimes of their offspring. That’s setting a dangerous precedent for overreach by the state, I thought. Plus, while Ethan took the gun from the home, Michigan apparently has no law that requires parents to lock up weapons.

But in this case, I also have questions. Was the family in denial about Ethan’s cry for help? Jennifer Crumbley, in a long open letter she wrote to Donald Trump in 2016, talked about Ethan’s struggles with math, which she blamed on Common Core. Ethan’s older half-brother, Eli, just couldn’t understand why Ethan went on a shooting rampage:

“The Ethan I knew was just a smart boy who just seemed like an average kid. There was nothing that ever stood out to me. He’d never get suspended from school, or detention.” 

“He didn’t suffer depression or anything like that. He woke up happy, went to school, came home and played games.”

Obviously, Ethan did suffer from depression — and probably more. Why else would have have written “help me?” on his note? Maybe his parents did notice some things wrong with their son, but avoided dealing with them, instead preferring to blame his troubles on things like Common Core. They gave their troubled son a gun as a Christmas gift. And finally, they refused to take him out of school when his teacher presented evidence of his very disturbed mind.

These people are negligent with a capital N.

So now, as of this writing, his loving parents are on the run from authorities, once again failing Ethan when he needs help the most.

Yes, James and Jennifer Crumbley absolutely deserve the charges that prosecutor McDonald has filed against them.


UPDATE:  Detroit police arrested James and Jennifer Crumbley late Friday night. They were hiding in the basement of a commercial building in Detroit. Someone had provided them the hideout, and may also face charges.


Featured image: Office of Public Affairs/flickr/cropped/CC BY 2.0.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • […] post Parents of Michigan School Shooter Face Charges appeared first on Victory Girls […]

  • Hate_me says:

    I don’t care how negligent they were as parents, they weren’t there when he pulled the trigger. Bad parents? Perhaps. Negligent? Maybe, but hardly criminally so. Guilty of manslaughter? Not one bit.

    What happened in Michigan is awful. It’s an atrocity, and it didn’t happen in a vacuum, but extending the blame to anyone and everyone who had any involvement in the situation is the surest way to create a justice system that supports totalitarian ideals.

    The parents appear to have run. That’s a crime, in itself, but after the fact and is purely circumstantial to the shooting. Given the kangaroo court these charges appear to be establishing, I’d run, too.

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      “Guilty of manslaughter? Not one bit.”

      That’s incorrect. Under Michigan law, involuntary manslaughter charges can be filed against the parents if authorities believe they contributed to a situation where there was a high chance of harm or death.The fact that Ethan’s mother texted him and told him “not to do it,” and that his father called 911 because he thought his son was the shooter, shows that they were fully aware that they contributed to that situation. They also failed to check his backpack and did not remove him from school. Had they been responsible, four kids would still be alive today.

      This is not a “kangaroo court” but the appropriate call in this case.

      • Hate_me says:

        Texting him to not do it is the exact opposite of contributing to the act.

        Not searching his bag is arguably negligent, but also not contributory. I am not a lawyer, but I am a father and I can’t see any good for my child coming out of searching my child’s bag in such a situation – had the thought even occurred to me.

        The meeting was over a picture. Hell, I was in a very boring briefing two days ago and I happened to sketch an M2 and an AK-74. I also sketched a cedar and a mountain range. Pictures are pictures. Second-guessing is easy. Parenting is anything but. Failure to predict the future is not a crime.

        Charging the parents with manslaughter is nothing but a blatant grab at lawful gun ownership.

        • Kim Hirsch says:

          Your doodling pictures of guns and mountain ranges hardly compares to a troubled kid drawing a bloody shooting scene and writing “help me” now, does it?

          I wonder —- how would you feel about holding the parents of teenage gang bangers responsible for the death and mayhem they cause nearly every day in cities like Chicago?

          Unless these parents plead out, they will go to trial and justice will be served.

          • Hate_me says:

            The only difference is the “help me” aspect.

            Still, failing to interpret that as murder is not manslaughter.

            I’m not saying they’re good parents, I’m extending the benefit of the doubt that their not culpable in the crime.

    • GWB says:

      I don’t care how negligent they were as parents, they weren’t there when he pulled the trigger.
      Wow. So you don’t agree with “aiding and abetting” laws? Or “conspiracy” laws? The mobster who ordered the hit isn’t responsible for the murder, just the hitman?

      hardly criminally [negligent]
      Really? They basically provided a firearm to a juvenile (according to the accusation). At a minimum they provided access to the firearm (still a felony there). IOW, they broke the law with their negligence. That makes them criminally negligent.

      extending the blame to anyone and everyone who had any involvement in the situation is the surest way to create a justice system that supports totalitarian ideals
      Sorry, but that’s just a dumb thing to say. It extends and reinforces your first statement where my response was asking if you don’t support conspiracy prosecutions.

      This (based on current evidence – I hope we see a lot more factual evidence) is much different than Sandy Hook, where the perpetrator murdered his mother to get access to the weapon.

  • The parents are in VERY deep doo-doo.

    There was a “bright line” in the Rittenhouse case – a line that made it perfectly legal for him to possess his AR.

    There is also a “bright line” in this case – and they are way over on the wrong side of it. SELL, DELIVER OR TRANSFER TO A JUVENILE: 18 USC § 922(x)(1). Punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment unless transferor had reason to believe juvenile would commit crime of violence with gun or ammunition, then up to 10 years imprisonment.

    • Hate_me says:

      Had they actually transferred ownership?

      Regardless, that’s not the same as a charge of manslaughter.

      • GWB says:

        They used words that admitted de facto ownership by the juvenile. So, yes, in the eyes of the law, it’s a manslaughter charge.

        There’s also a storage law in effect there, I believe.

    • DBarnes says:

      blame everyone except the shooter. Thank God for our justice system. I hope it works in this case.

      • GWB says:

        I don’t think any of the regulars here are not blaming the shooter. This is a discussion on how much the parents contributed. That doesn’t take away the blame from the shooter.

        The number of people who seem to think there should and can be only one person to whom bad events are attributed is astonishing.

  • M Walsh says:

    Where did this photo come from? The credit says from Delaware. It had nothing to do with this story,

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      Yes, it’s from Delaware, and thanks for noticing.

      We use free-to-use or public domain images so we don’t get our asses sued for using copyright pictures. The image of the parents in the article came from Facebook, so it wasn’t copyrighted.

      Now you know.

  • Chris says:

    Are they running OR are they lawyering up.
    Which is Smart, cause there about to be hung out to dry.

    The System needs blood and bodies..
    It missed Kyle.

    How CNN

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      See my update. The parents were arrested, hiding out in a basement in Detroit. They had already gotten an attorney, who had told media that they would show up for arraignment. Right.

      So while you cheer on the parents for being “smart,” four sets of parents are set to bury their children because these “smart” parents bought a gun as a Christmas gift for their psychotic teenager. That’s not CNN. That’s a fact.

  • Bruce says:

    Any mention of ‘pharmaceuticals” in the works. Psychotropics AND antidepressants can have “interesting effects, sometimes. See also a long list of “ff licence” mood-altering substances.

    Then there are the people surrounding the boy; “Nudge’ factors, “Wind-up-toy”?

    Just wondering?

    • D. Barnes says:

      They were not running, according to the lawyers. They were hiding due to threats. The mother texted “don’t do it’ the father called 911. The gun was locked up. The prosecution wants you to think the parents are at fault. Blame the principal, then. He didn’t throw the kid out after the meeting. Hidesight is 20/20. Let’s see what other evidence they have. Thank God for our justice system. It usually works. I hope it does in this case.

      • GWB says:

        The gun was locked up.
        Uh, no it wasn’t. At least according to initial reports it was where the juvenile could access it at any time. Maybe there’s conflicting information on that. I’ll wait, but there’s some very strong vibes that the parents were negligent in this.

        (BTW, texting after the fact “Don’t do it” is a sign they knew it was him, and therefore should have acted prior.)

        I’m not saying the parents should be strung up by their thumbs, but there is very real evidence they contributed to this through negligence or recklessness. And, they should therefore be charged so they can face their day in court.

  • GWB says:

    Ummmm, maybe pick a different picture for the top? Please?
    (I know it’s a stock photo. But it’s not related and could bring accusations of “See, you assume criminals are black” and such. It’s an own goal.)

  • […] but ours has also been dealing with repeated graffiti threats of a planned school shooting. With Oxford fresh in everyone’s minds, school districts are reacting swiftly, even when multiple sweeps […]

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