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Community reacts to sentencing of Michigan school shooter's parents

James and Jennifer Crumbley were each sentenced to 10-15 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter after their son shot and killed four students.
Posted at 1:57 PM, Apr 10, 2024

It was the culmination of a historic, precedent-setting case with both parents of the Oxford, Michigan, high school shooter getting 10 years to 15 years behind bars.

From the verdict to sentencing, many in metro Detroit and across the country have had eyes on this historic trial, which on Tuesday included impact statements from the families of the four students killed and others injured.

James Crumbley, father of school gunman, threatened prosecutor
James Crumbley, the father of the Oxford High School shooter, being escorted out of court last week.

James Crumbley, father of school gunman, threatened prosecutor

"I’m not going to let anything stop me from prosecuting and advocating for victims," the prosecutor said in response to the threats.


“I can feel their pain and I know they probably wish they got life,” Martez Durant said.

Despite 10 years to 15 years being the maximum sentence, some who followed the case felt the parents should’ve gotten more.

“To me, it's unfair for some kids to lose their life and the parents get 10 to 15 years,” Durant said. "You can't replace a life, but I think the punishment should be more."

The shooter opened fire at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021, killing four students – Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling – and injuring six other students and a teacher.

Scripps News Detroit

“We really need to be mindful and pay more attention to our children's actions and their behavior," Paquana Jones said. "The kid to me was crying out and reaching out with the drawings and such.”

Everyone who agreed to speak with Scripps News Detroit on camera felt a maximum sentence for both parents was fair.

“I think the sentence is just," Chris Gopigian said. "I think parents need to be responsible for their kids and their actions, and kids need to be responsible for themselves.”

“Your heart goes out to the people hurt by this and the children that lost their lives and that's obviously the first that comes to mind ... At the end of the day are they (parents of shooter) victims? No, I don't think so. Does my heart go out to them? Yeah," Josh McKenna said of the shooter's parents. "They've been affected by this drastically. Their lives have been forever changed, they're losing their son forever, so there's a certain level of sympathy attached to that.”

Jennifer Crumbley denies son had discipline problems before shooting
Jennifer Crumbley speaks on the defense stand.

Jennifer Crumbley denies son had discipline problems before shooting

Jennifer Crumbley is facing involuntary manslaughter charges after her son killed four students in a 2021 shooting at Oxford High School.


While the vast majority of comments on our Facebook page also agreed with the sentence, some didn't, like one person who called the sentence a slippery slope and another who said the judge went too far.

"Some people may look at it as being unfair, but it's just justice," Jones said. "You have to look at it, what if it was your child?”

“Justice was probably served and it's probably not the justice that the people want," McKenna added. "But I think it's closing a chapter on a very, very dark story for our area.”

This story was originally published by Brett Kast at Scripps News Detroit.