A jury in the Oakland County District Court in the United States convicted a Michigan mother of murder. For failing to stop his son from carrying out a mass shooting at a school.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian report on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, Jennifer Crombley (45 years) is the first American to be convicted of murder in the mass shooting incident committed by her son Ethan, while her husband James Crombley He faces a separate trial on the same charges.
Prosecutors accused the mother of negligence and ignoring warning signs in allowing her son, now 17, to possess a weapon. The court charged him with 4 counts of murder, each of which carries a punishment of up to 15 years. Year.
Ethan Crombley is serving a life sentence for killing 4 of his colleagues and injuring 7 others in the shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan on November 30, 2021.
The parents were to be tried together, but they asked for separate trials in November 2023, and their father, James Crombley, is to be tried next March.
The central question in the trial was whether the mother could have anticipated and prevented the fatal crime, since Crombley and her husband, James, had purchased the gun used by their son just days before the shooting.
At his trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Ethan had mental health problems and complained of hallucinations, but his parents did not provide him with treatment. Prosecutors pointed to a note found in her son's bag in which he wrote that his parents ignored his pleas for help. ,
Prosecutors showed messages between Ms. Crombley and a man with whom she was in a relationship, in which she said — before attending a school assembly on the day of the shooting — that she was afraid her son would do “something stupid.”
During her trial, Crombley blamed her husband for buying their son a gun, telling jurors that her husband had taken their son to a gun store the day after Thanksgiving to buy a gun as a gift. .
It was reported that on the morning of the shootings, parents disrupted a meeting with school administration; Because of a disturbing drawing made by his son, he left for work without taking the 15-year-old home.
School officials returned him to class without checking his bag, which contained a gun, and just hours later the child committed his crime.
Could the Crombley family be the beginning?
Some experts have indicated that the cases against the Cromblies could lead to more charges against parents of minors involved in mass shootings.
Stephen Morse, a professor of law and psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, said he disagreed with the verdict, arguing that since Ethan Crumpley pleaded guilty, he was solely responsible for the shooting. “I realize she wasn't necessarily the best mother in the world, but that's not a crime,” he said.
Morse said he believed the decision could set a bad precedent, causing courts to look for “scapegoats” in similar situations, while others said the case was exceptional, adding that Denied that it would have widespread consequences.
For his part, Frank Vandervoort, clinical professor of law at the University of Michigan, said, “I'm not afraid it will open the door to parents who are accused in normal cases, if there is such a thing. I think this case is very unique and something different.”
The families of the victims expressed disappointment; Because school officials did not face the same legal consequences as the parents of a murdered child, he asked, “Why doesn't the system allow people to make decisions when it comes to failing in school? Should we Is the government subject to a different set of rules?”
An independent investigation published last year acknowledged numerous failures in the school system, including allowing Ethan to return to class without having his bag checked, prompting the district's education department to review its practices and policies in response to the investigation. Was inspired to pledge to review and improve them.
Ongoing debate regarding possession of firearms
Shooting incidents in the United States are considered a long-term crisis, and whenever such an incident occurs, there is a renewed discussion about the proliferation of firearms in the country, but no progress has been made in this regard. Is, because many Americans refuse to give. Their constitutional right to possess firearms is gone.
The United States has seen a number of school shootings, leading to dozens of deaths, the most recent of which occurred on March 27, 2023, when 6 people, including 3 children and 3 adults, were killed at a private Christian elementary school. They went. Nashville, Tennessee, by…young woman.
On February 14, 2023, at least 3 people were killed and 5 others were injured when a gunman opened fire at Michigan State University.
More than 10 people were killed and others injured in separate shooting incidents in 3 US states on January 23, 2023, according to police and local sources.
On January 6, 2023, US police announced that a 6-year-old boy shot a teacher at an elementary school in Newport News, Virginia.
At the time, officials reported that all schools were equipped with metal detectors, but they were not activated at Rechnik Elementary School on the day of the crime.
On December 14, 2022, an accident occurred inside an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, killing 27 people, including 20 children.
On May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old man killed 19 children and a teacher at an elementary school in Texas before being shot dead by police.