Michigan shooter’s parents plea for mercy as sentencing hearing begins

The sentencing hearing for James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Michigan 15-year-old school shooter Ethan Crumbley, is underway in Oakland County, Michigan. The parents of the teenager who killed four students in Oxford, Michigan were found guilty of manslaughter last month. The Crumbleys, who have already spent two years in prison after their arrest in a Detroit warehouse days after the shooting, face up to 15 years in prison.

James and Jennifer Crumbley say did not know their son, Ethan, was planning the shooting at Oxford High School and are asking the judge to keep them out of prison. But prosecutors said the parents failed to safely store a gun and could have prevented the shooting by removing the 15-year-old from school when confronted with his dark drawing that day.

In separate sentencing memos, prosecutors asked the judge to sentence each parent to 10 to 15 years in state prison. They said that the parents showed a “chilling lack of remorse”, adding that James Crumbley made threats against Prosecuting Attorney Karen McDonald in several jail calls. “There will be retribution, believe me,” he said in one, according to the memo.

Defense attorney Shannon Smith said Jennifer Crumbley is “not a threat to the community.” Smith said she is even willing to put Jennifer Crumbley up in a guest house at her property, outfitted with an electronic tether. Mariell Lehman, a lawyer representing James Crumbley, said the nearly two and a half years spent in jail since the couple’s arrest is enough time in custody.

Ethan Crumbley, now 17, pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence in prison.

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