If The Son Does The Crime, Should Mom And Dad Also Do The Time?

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A Michigan jury stunned the legal world Tuesday by handing the parents of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley sentences of up to 15 years for involuntary manslaughter. The jury found James and Jennifer Crumbley guilty of neglecting and failing to prevent their son from bringing a gun, which they had gifted to him just days earlier, to a school and killing four students in October of 2021.

Does the sentencing now set a precedent in how the legal system will deal with the parents of children who commit violent crimes? According to Law and Crime Network anchor Jesse Weber (whose show “Always in Fashion” with his dad Mark Weber is heard at 7pm Saturdays and Sundays on WOR), not necessarily. Weber appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to explain that there were circumstances unique to this case.

“I keep getting asked this question since the verdict, since the sentencing, what’s going to be the effect of this, does this set a precedent? In one way, yes,” Weber told Berman and Riedel. “This is a wake-up call about how you store the weapon. It’s a wake-up call to pay more attention to what your children are doing, to the well-being of your children, the mental health of your children. But, having said that, this doesn’t mean that if, God forbid, we have another mass shooting or school shooting, the parents are automatically going to be arrested and convicted. The facts in this case were so bad, were so egregious… the blame falls on these parents.”

Weber then went on to elaborate why the jury could say that the Crumbleys were to blame for their son’s actions. “There were so many warning signs that their son was troubled that they chose- and they’ll deny why- but they chose to basically ignore it. There were messages that were presented in court that this shooter told his friend ‘I tried to ask my father for help, and he said, ‘Suck it up,’ and he gave me some pills’. Now, of course, we don’t know if that’s exactly true, but what we do know is, through the text messages with the parents, the actions of them the days before and on the day of the shooting, seem like two parents who just didn’t care, and I think there is a difference between making a mistake and what they did here.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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