Sarissa Montague: James and Jennifer Crumbley convictions set legal precedent in Michigan

In an interview with FOX 17, Criminal Defense Attorney Sarissa Montague shared how the convictions of James and Jennifer Crumbley now set a legal precedent for the state of Michigan.

On Thursday, March 14, a jury found James Crumbley, the father of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the mass shooting in November 2021. Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in February in connection to the shooting.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are the first parents in the United States to be charged with and convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection with a mass shooting carried out by their child.

“The precedent that I believe that this sets is that, what we know now is that in certain circumstances, the courts in Michigan will allow cases like this to go forward against parents – so, that’s one precedent,” Montague told FOX 17 in her interview. “And the second precedent that it sets is that not only will the court allow cases like this to go forward in certain circumstances, but juries will find parents guilty in certain circumstances.”

James and Jennifer’s son, Ethan, had pleaded guilty to 24 felonies, including first-degree murder and terrorism, for the November 30, 2021 shooting at Oxford High School that killed four students. Ethan was sentenced to life in prison without parole in December 2023.

“One of the great, amazing things about the criminal law is that each and every case is different. … Even though the law is the same for everybody who lives in the state, the facts and circumstances as they apply to those laws are different,” Montague said during her interview. “I think it is certainly reasonable – now that we know that our courts will allow cases like this to actually get to trial – it’s certainly expected that, in situations where there are horrific crimes that occur, that investigators will look at surrounding circumstances – maybe other family members, parents obviously. But again, it’s the facts and circumstances of each specific incident that is going to determine what happens.”

James and Jennifer Crumbley are both scheduled for sentencing on April 9.

Read the entire story, here.

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