James Crumbley Trial: Prosecutors Accuse Him of Failing to Secure Gun

Prosecutors in Michigan on Thursday accused James Crumbley of failing to secure the handgun that his son used to open fire in a hallway and kill four schoolmates more than two years ago, in the state’s deadliest school shooting.

In opening statements, Marc Keast, an Oakland County prosecutor, said the cable lock that came with the 9-millimeter Sig Sauer handgun, which Mr. Crumbley bought four days before his son’s rampage at Oxford High School, was still in its original packaging and appeared to have been unused.

“James Crumbley failed to secure that gun in a way to prevent his son from accessing it,” Mr. Keast told the jury.

It was an early sign that the weapon will be a key focus as Mr. Crumbley’s trial unfolds in the same courtroom in Pontiac, Mich., where his wife was convicted last month. Mariell Lehman, a lawyer for Mr. Crumbley, 47, countered in her opening statement that her client “was not aware that his son had access to that firearm.”

Like his wife, Mr. Crumbley, who requested a separate trial, faces four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the four students killed by his son, Ethan, who was 15 on Nov. 30, 2021, when he gunned down Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Justin Shilling, 17; and Hana St. Juliana, 14.

The teenager pleaded guilty last year to 24 charges, including first-degree murder. But in a rare move, prosecutors have also sought to hold his parents criminally responsible, saying they neglected warning signs about their son’s mental health and plans for the massacre, which also injured seven people.

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