Wednesday, April 17, 2024

James Crumbley advised his son to speak with certain individuals during a meeting just before the school shooting, as revealed by a counselor’s testimony

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During a crucial talk with school staff just before the tragic event at a Michigan high school, James Crumbley advised his son that there were “people you can talk to,” as revealed by a school counselor in the ongoing trial for James’ manslaughter charges.

The counselor, Shawn Hopkins, shared that James was discussing available support options for his then-15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley, including the school counselor and communication within the family.

Hopkins stated that, on the surface, it seemed like James Crumbley was appropriately concerned about his son’s well-being. This testimony emerged early in the trial, with the possibility of reaching a verdict by Wednesday, according to Judge Cheryl Matthews. Witnesses included two school employees and an ATF special agent discussing the family’s firearms.

It’s important to note that James’ wife, Jennifer Crumbley, was convicted of similar charges last month, while their son Ethan is already serving a life sentence for his role in the incident.

The case against James Crumbley explores the extent of responsibility in a mass shooting. Prosecutors argue that parents can be held responsible for providing a firearm to a troubled individual, neglecting signs of mental health issues.

The recent testimonies from school employees focused on a significant meeting held on the morning of the shooting. The meeting, involving Ethan, school staff, and his parents, addressed disturbing writings and drawings found in his possession.

However, during cross-examination, it was revealed that the counselor had not informed the Crumbleys about other concerning instances flagged by teachers. Another school official testified that the parents’ decision not to remove Ethan from class was atypical for such situations.

The trial also brought to light that James and Ethan visited a gun range together six times before the attack, as testified by ATF special agent Brett Brandon.

The case against James Crumbley is similar to his wife’s trial but presents differences in firearm knowledge and awareness of Ethan’s mental health issues. The prosecution argues that James was negligent in purchasing the murder weapon for his son and failing to secure it despite knowing about his son’s deteriorating mental state.

Prosecutors emphasize that the tragedy was preventable and foreseeable, but they assert that there’s no evidence suggesting James Crumbley knew about his son’s intentions or perceived him as a danger. The focus remains on how Ethan obtained the firearm and whether James was aware of his son’s mental health problems, despite some uncertainty and lack of concrete evidence presented in court.

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