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Manslaughter trial begins for father of Michigan school shooter

James Crumbley faces four counts of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the 2021 attack by his son that left 4 students dead and seven injured.
Manslaughter trial begins for father of Michigan school shooter
Posted at 10:55 AM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-07 11:27:28-05

The prosecution and defense both delivered opening statements Thursday morning in the trial for James Crumbley, the father of the Oxford High School shooter in Michigan. He's charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

You can watch the trial live starting at 9:30 a.m. ET here.

“That nightmare was preventable and it was foreseeable,” assistant prosecutor Marc Keast told the jury.

The defense attorney argued that James did not know what his son was going to do. 

“James Crumbley was not aware that his son had access to that firearm,” defense attorney Mariell Lehman told the jury.

SEE MORE: Michigan school shooter gets life in prison for killing 4 students

A jury was seated in his case on Wednesday, and it took less than two days to seat the jury. It consists of nine women and six men.

There are a lot of parallels between the trial of James and the trial of his wife, Jennifer, who was convicted on four counts of manslaughter last month. Both trials took two days to select jurors and ultimately both will have a group of mostly women determining their fate.

SEE MORE: Mother of Michigan school shooter found guilty of manslaughter

Thoughts surrounding gun ownership and parenting were some of the top questions from attorneys.

"We're still looking for accountability. It's understood the father is half part of parental accountability and responsibility," Craig Shilling, the father of one of the victims, Justin Shilling, told us.

Craig made it known he wants James to have the same fate as Jennifer.

"I feel solid in that there was definitely gross negligence on behalf of both parents," he said.

The shooter pleaded guilty to the murders of four of his classmates and was sentenced in December. But since he is planning to appeal his life sentence, if he were to get on the stand and plead the Fifth, the judge said it would have triggered a mistrial in his mother's case.

Jennifer’s trial received national attention, specifically from legal experts since the unprecedented charges against the parents could impact how future school shooting cases are handled by prosecutors.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Detroit.


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