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USA. Michigan. Parents sentenced to 10-15 years in prison for the school massacre committed by their son

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James and Jennifer Crumbley were sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison for manslaughter in connection with the 2021 killing of four school friends by their 15-year-old son Ethan. The court agreed to the penalty requested by the prosecutor's office.

The BBC, commenting on this verdict, writes about a “landmark case”.

Announcing the verdict, Judge Cheryl Matthews, presiding over the trial, said the high penalty in the first trial of its kind was intended to serve as a deterrent to other parents who ignore their children's mental problems. She noted that the parents received “many alarm signals” about their son, but “no one responded, and these two people should have done it and didn't.”

During Tuesday's hearing, the parents of the perpetrator of the Oxford, Michigan massacre apologized to the victims' families and swore that they did not know that their son was planning the crime. Prosecutors accused them of failing to secure the weapons at home and ignoring their son's mental condition. They indicated, among other things, that the Crumbleys had been called to school in connection with Ethan's drawing of the shooting, with the words “Thoughts won't stop. Help me.”

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On the same day, a 15-year-old boy took his father's gun from home and shot four students and injured seven others.

James and Jennifer Crumbley during a hearing in Michigan state court Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Ultimately, the judge agreed with the prosecutors' arguments and awarded the maximum sentence they requested. Both have been in prison since December 2021.

The teenager himself had already pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The school where the massacre occurred PAP/EPA/NIC ANTAYA

Main photo source: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

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