The parents of an American teenager sentenced to life in prison for killing four students in his high school in 2021 with a weapon they had given him were sentenced on Tuesday April 9 to a sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison, a first in the States -United.

The mother, Jennifer Crumbley, 46, and father, James Crumbley, 47, were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in two separate trials in February and March, convictions never before seen in the country for parents .

“Parents are not expected to be soothsayers, but these verdicts do not punish bad parents. These verdicts vindicate repeated actions, or lack of actions, that could have stopped an impending disaster,” said Pontiac, Michigan, District Court Judge Cheryl Matthews.

She sentenced them to the same sentence of “10 to 15 years in prison”, less the two and a half years of preventive detention already served. They faced a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison. They will be eligible for parole after serving ten years in prison. If they were refused parole, they could not be detained for more than fifteen years. The prosecutor had asked to pronounce the harshest possible sentences against the accused, “taking into account the impact of their blatant negligence”.

“Alarming” drawing

Before the sentencing, both Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley made it clear – contrary to the impression they had given during their respective trials – that they would have acted differently if they had been aware of the signs before -runners of tragedy.

At her trial, Jennifer Crumbley testified that her husband had brought home a Sig Sauer 9-millimeter pistol a few days earlier as an early Christmas present. She said she took her son to a shooting range the next day.

The parents were summoned to the high school on the day of the tragedy, November 30, 2021, but left without taking their son home, although the teachers, after discovering an “alarming” drawing made by the teenager, recommended that they emergency psychological follow-up.

Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time of the crime, was tried as an adult and sentenced in December to life in prison without the possibility of early release in an Oakland County court. The teenager pleaded guilty in October 2022 to bringing the gun and 50 bullets in his backpack to his high school and shooting the high school students.

In December, the mother of a 6-year-old student who seriously shot his school teacher was sentenced to two years in prison for parental neglect by the justice system in the state of Virginia (East). The previous month, the father of a man accused of opening fire in 2022 during U.S. National Day celebrations near Chicago, killing seven, pleaded guilty to reckless behavior for helping him buy the weapon used in the killing.