Jennifer and James Crumbley — parents of Michigan teen mass shooter — sentenced 10 to 15 years

The parents of Ethan Crumbley — the teen shooter who killed four people and wounded six others at a Michigan high school — were sentenced today to 10–15 years for manslaughter.

Although James and Jennifer Crumbley did not know their son would go on a killing rampage at Oxford High School in 2021, they knew he was troubled — drawing a gun shooting a person along with the words, "The thoughts won't stop. Help me," for example. And yet, according to Judge Cheryl Matthews, they did nothing to stop what ended in tragedy. In fact, they bought him the gun he used in the shooting.

"Parents are not expected to be psychic, but these convictions are not about poor parenting," said the judge, via ABC News. "These convictions confirm repeated acts, or lack of acts, that could have halted an oncoming runaway train — about repeatedly ignoring things that would make a reasonable person feel the hair on the back of their neck."

"As the jury found, defendant's gross negligence was a cause of this damage," the prosecutors added, referring to Jennifer Crumbley. "She knew of the danger to another, it was reasonably foreseeable her son would shoot someone, but she failed to exercise even the smallest measure of ordinary care."

And the prosecution's statement about James — who tried to wriggle out of prison time by saying he had already spent more than two years behind bars while awaiting trial — was even harsher: "Defendant's shameless lack of remorse in asking for time served as an appropriate sentence is a slap in the face to the severity of tragedy caused by his gross negligence, to the victims and their families, and to the applicable law that is premised on the concept of proportionate sentencing."

From ABC News:

The parents have already served 858 days in jail while awaiting trial, which will be deducted from their sentence. They have also been instructed to have no contact with the families of the victims.

Giving a statement in court Tuesday, Jennifer Crumbley sought to walk back her testimony during trial when she said she would not have done anything differently.

James Crumbley, who wiped away tears at several points during his statement, asked to be sentenced in a "fair and just way," asking for time served.

The trials were a rare case of parents facing criminal charges, and possible jail time, over their role in a shooting carried out by their child. They could have faced up to 15 years in prison for each count, but prosecutors asked for 10 to 15 years total for each parent, according to a sentencing memo filed by prosecutors last week.

The couple's son, Ethan, is serving life in prison without parole.