Controversy Surrounds Shooter’s Mom’s House Arrest Request

( – Jennifer and James Crumbley were sentenced to prison on Tuesday April 9 for their convictions of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the school shooting perpetrated by their son Ethan on November 30, 2021. At the sentencing the Crumbleys’ defense attorneys asked for time served, which would mean they faced no prison time other than the amount they have already served while awaiting sentencing.

Jennifer Crumbley asked for house arrest instead of prison, suggesting her attorney’s guesthouse. While some believed the guesthouse may be a step up from where the Crumbleys lived before and would constitute some kind of reward, it is more likely it was suggested as a form of semi-supervision. However, these pleas were rejected, and they will be serving 10-15 years.

Jennifer’s attorney, Shannon Smith, argued that prison for her client would not prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. While prosecutors have said holding the Crumbley parents responsible for their son’s actions is not about vengeance, many of the parents of the slain children spoke in court at the sentencing asking for maximum prison time and saying that there could never be enough punishment for them.

While a major linchpin in the case was a meeting with the school counselor where the decision was made by the Crumbleys and the counselor to allow Ethan to stay in school that terrible day, much of the criticism against them is that they owned and used firearms. Judge Cheryl Matthews accused them of “glorifying” guns. Judge Matthews also said the convictions were not about poor parenting, but the case against them hinged on their “grossly negligent” parenting of their son and several family members of the victims spoke of their failure as parents.

Prosecutors also accused the Crumbley parents of not showing any remorse, although both have repeatedly expressed sorrow about the incident and wished they could have done something different. A comment Jennifer Crumbley made during the trial was interpreted to mean that she would take the same actions again that day, although she later clarified she wouldn’t if she knew then what she knows now.

Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney Karen McDonald explained that when she speaks of “no remorse”, she means that she doesn’t consider it genuine unless there is an admission of guilt and some sort of reconciliation or apology. Remorse as a legal concept is a  gray area, but currently there is no requirement that someone plead guilty for it to be a factor in court, and both Crumbley parents have offered repeated apologies.

Copyright 2024,