Ethan Crumbley's parents to be charged? Prosecutor Karen McDonald seeks accountability
'Owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it... and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors,' Karen McDonald said
OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN: Multiple charges have been filed against 15-year-old Oxford School shooter Ethan Crumbley, who is being arraigned as an adult terrorist. His parents James and Jennifer Crumbley have reportedly urged their teen son to plead the fifth while facing the investigators. Meanwhile, several shocking details about Ethan's family are emerging in the media, prompting many to accuse his parents for being responsible for the massacre. One of the major allegations is that Ethan's father had bought him the handgun he used in the school, while his mother boasted of taking him with her to practice shooting. Internet sleuths have now found an open letter from Ethan's mother to former President Donald Trump, where she thanked him for allowing her right to bear arms.
While Ethan was charged with terrorism, first-degree murder, assault, and gun possession, Michigan prosecutor Karen McDonald suggested that his parents might also be charged. She confirmed that Ethan would be tried as an adult for the mass shooting on November 30 that killed four of his classmates and injured seven others, including a teacher. Additional charges might also be filed against him in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Ethan Crumbley's parents are being lambasted all over social media for their actions, like buying a high-powered handgun for the suspect just days before the attack. Moreover, the parents were also called to Ethan's school on the very morning of the shooting to discuss certain problematic behaviors displayed by him.
Prosecutor McDonald highlighted Ethan's father gifting him the Sig Sauger 9mm handgun and stated, "We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors. We have to hold individuals accountable who don't do that."
McDonald did not divulge further details about her plans to charge the suspect's parents, a development that is likely to unfold in the coming days. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard has already expressed his support to the prosecutor's decision for charging Ethan Crumbley as an adult. However, he did not quite agree with charging his parents as it is unclear under what statute they would be indicted under.
As per Michigan law, gun owners are not mandated to lock their weapons or keep them away from their children. "Theoretically, if you had a case where you had a teenager who had demonstrated some sort of instability, mentally or suicidal or homicidal thoughts or actions, or anything to that extent, and in addition to that you still allowed this child to have unfettered access to a weapon, then theoretically I don't think it would be a huge stretch to charge the parents with involuntary manslaughter under those circumstances," said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel while speaking to the Detroit Free Press.
Between 1999 and 2018, four similar cases have happened wherein an adult gun owner faced criminal charges for failing to keep their firearms locked up. Among them, there was a Michigan man who spent 29 months behind bars on conviction of involuntary manslaughter. With regards to Ethan Crumbley's parents, it remains to be seen how they would be charged, if at all, were they brought in and held accountable for their son's actions in a future legal motion.