Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Jury selection proceedings for the trial of James Crumbley, the father of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, are set to begin on Tuesday. Crumbley is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to his son Ethan murdering four Oxford High School students in Oxford Township, Michigan in November 2021. Ethan was fifteen at the time of his killing spree.

Ethan is now serving a life sentence in prison. At one point, Ethan looked up a torture website on a county jail Tablet given to him for G.E.D. studying.

In a move that legal observers are watching closely, prosecutors are pushing to convict Ethan Crumbley’s father for neglecting signs that his son could be violent and for giving Ethan access to a gun. Ethan Crumbley’s mother Jennifer Crumbley already got convicted on four counts of involuntary manslaughter, which could affect her husband’s case.

[embedded content]

According to the generally agreed-upon timeline of events, the Crumbleys had been called to the school on the morning of the shooting to address an issue with Ethan and they were asked to get the teen a counselor. The Crumbleys left and Ethan remained at school. The dean gave Ethan his backpack back, but did not search inside of it. The backpack had a gun. After it became apparent that a school shooting was underway, James Crumbley checked the location of his firearm at home and the gun was missing, prompting James Crumbley to dial 9-1-1. Jennifer Crumbley’s mother texted “Ethan don’t do it” to the shooter, which she claims meant that she was begging Ethan not to commit suicide.

During mother Jennifer Crumbley’s trial, we learned that Jennifer was having an extramarital affair with a firefighter in a Costco parking lot during her workday once per week with some other visits between the lovers.

James Crumbley’s employment struggles post-Covid came up when Jennifer Crumbley was on the stand in her own trial.

The Crumbleys fled after the shooting but were found and arrested in Detroit:

[embedded content]

Ethan Crumbley described seeing a “demon” and said the demon messed up their kitchen. Ethan texted Jennifer, “Ok the house is now haunted…Some wierd s— just happens and now I’m scared…I got some videos…And a picture of the demon…it is throwing BOWLS…I am not joking it f— up the kitchen…I’m just going to be outsider for a while…Can you at least text back.”

But Jennifer was reportedly horseback riding when Ethan texted her about the supposed “demon” and she did not respond to Ethan. Jennifer also said in frenzied texts with her husband that she put Ethan on melatonin after some kind of incident at their house months before the shooting.

Ethan Crumbley recorded a speech prior to his shooting in which he identified himself as “the next school shooter” and rambled about topics including whether or not he would be happy with a career in the military. A general sense of hopelessness about the future pervades the deranged killer’s words.

In the speech, he describes himself as a “demon.” At the 16:45 mark in this MLive video below, Ethan said, “There’s no voices in my head. The voices are me. I am arguing with myself back and forth. I have three constant voices and then there’s me physically. And I’m doing whatever those three voices tell me to do. And one of them is always (inaudible) f— up…That’s what people call the demons…I am the demon. You are the demon. There is a demon in everyone that has the voice. The demon will take over. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

[embedded content]

The breakdown of the modern American family is clearly on display in this case, but does James Crumbley’s conduct rise to the level of criminality when another person, his son, was the shooter? Regardless, this modern American tragedy will continue to cause pain and suffering for families, friends and neighbors for a lifetime.