close Defense attorney warns of precedent set by Crumbley conviction: ‘Criminalizing parenting decisions’ Video

Defense attorney warns of precedent set by Crumbley conviction: ‘Criminalizing parenting decisions’

Criminal defense attorney Lexie Rigden joins ‘Fox & Friends’ to weigh in after a jury found Jennifer Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter after her son, Ethan Crumbley, shot and killed four students at Oxford High School in 2021.

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The parents of four students who were murdered in the 2021 Oxford High School shooting are now calling for the school to be held accountable for its actions — or lack thereof — before, during and after the massacre.

The push for school accountability comes after two Michigan juries found Jennifer and James Crumbley, parents of school shooter Ethan Crumbley, guilty of involuntary manslaughter following their respective trials in February and March.

“While we are grateful that James and Jennifer Crumbley were found guilty, we want to be very clear that this is just the beginning of our quest for justice and true accountability,” the families, who together identified as a group called “The Families for Change,” said in a Monday statement. “There is so much more that needs to be done to ensure other families in Michigan and across the country don’t experience the pain that we feel and we will not stop until real change is made.”

The Families for Change represent the parents of the four students who were killed on Nov. 30, 2021, including Tate Myre, 16; Justin Shilling, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17. Seven other victims were injured during the shooting.


Oxford High School shooting victims

Ethan Crumbley, at age 15, walked into Oxford High School on the morning of Nov. 30, 2021, went to morning classes, met with the school counselor with his parents and was sent back to class before he took a gun out of his backpack and killed 16-year-old Tate Myre, 16-year-old Justin Shilling, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana and 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin. (FOX 2 Detroit)

The shooting and subsequent efforts by families and government officials to pursue justice has been described as historic — first, because Ethan Crumbley was the first shooter in U.S. history to be charged and convicted of terrorism, and second, because his parents were also the first in U.S. history to be charged in connection with their child’s execution of a mass shooting.

Prosecutors pointed to the fact that Oxford High School administrators called Crumbley’s parents to school the morning of the shooting to discuss drawings Ethan, then 15 years old, made in class. The drawings depicted phrases such as “blood everywhere” and violent images, including a drawing of a gun.


Ethan Crumbley class drawings made before Nov. 30, 2021, shooting

James and Jennifer Crumbley met with their son and school leaders the morning of the shooting after a teacher caught Ethan Crumbley drawing disturbing images in class. (Oakland County)

The suspect convinced them during the meeting that the drawings were for a “video game.”

Despite being confronted with the drawing and seeing Ethan that morning, the parents left and allowed their disturbed teenager to stay in school. Crumbley later took a gun out of his backpack and opened fire inside the building.


Jennifer Crumbley trial: Prosecution makes opening statements Video

Now, The Families for Change is calling for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate “Oxford Community Schools, the Oxford School District and the immediate removal of board members who were leading the district at the time of the Oxford School Shooting,” according to a Monday press release.


“The Oxford community deserves board members it can trust to keep its children safe and move it forward,” The Families for Change said. “We are grateful that leaders like Governor Whitmer and Prosecutor Karen McDonald have listened and shown a great interest in helping us address gun violence in our communities. Today, we are asking for a commitment of support moving our recommendations forward.”

People embrace as they pay their respects at a memorial at Oxford High School, a day after a shooting that left four dead and eight injured, in Oxford, Michigan. Oxford Community Schools announced Monday that all classes would be canceled Tuesday after a threat to a middle school.

A Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan left four students dead and seven injured. (Seth Herald

Michigan passed several new gun safety laws in 2023, including one that criminalizes the failure to properly secure a gun at home if it ends up in a minor’s possession, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Numerous civil lawsuits have been filed against school officials since the shooting occurred.

Ethan Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley mugshots

Ethan Robert Crumbley, 15, charged with first-degree murder in a high school shooting, poses in a jail booking photograph taken at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac, Michigan. His parents were convicted for their role in the shooting. (Oakland County Sheriff)

One such lawsuit that attorneys Matthew Turner and Lisa Esser of Sommers Schwartz, P.C., filed in June 2022 on behalf of the parents of a 14-year-old victim who was shot in the face states that Oxford Community Schools and its officials “repeatedly” told the school community that counselors at Oxford High who reviewed Ethan’s drawings “had no choice but to send the shooter back to class because their school policy was such that unless there was a disciplinary issue they could neither send a student home nor detain them in the counseling office.”

Another attorney representing victims of the shooting alleged in a separate lawsuit that Oxford Community School District security guard Kimberly Potts, a 20-year veteran of Oakland County law enforcement, allegedly thought the shooting was an Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) drill even after she saw the body of deceased 16-year-old Myre.

Oxford High School shooting victim Tate Myre

Tate Myre after an Oxford High School football game. (Johnson Law, PLC)


“What we now know is this. When the shots rang out at 12:51…Ms. Potts walked down the hallway, where, ultimately, she found Tate Myre,” Ven Johnson said during an August 2022 press conference. “… Tate had already been shot. He was on the ground. Ms. Potts told the investigators that when she looked at Tate, she thought, ‘Boy, this ALICE drill — they’re really using good makeup.” 

Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.

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