The defense attorney for James Crumbley, the father of convicted Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, wants a judge to forbid certain testimony and witnesses in his upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial.
A jury found the shooter’s mother, Jennifer Crumbley, guilty of identical charges last week.
Prosecutors accuse both James and Jennifer Crumbley of ignoring signs their son had mental health issues, and instead gifting him with the handgun he used to kill four classmates at Oxford High.
The parents faced separate trials, with James Crumbley’s beginning next month. But his defense is arguing the same point his wife’s attorneys did, that certain evidence could unfairly prejudice a jury against their client. That includes graphic pictures and video of the killings, as well as the testimony of students who were shot during the attack.
The jury foreperson in Jennifer Crumbley’s trial — who gives her name only as Alex because of privacy concerns — told NBC’s Today program that it was the video showing Crumbley at a shooting range that made the difference to her.
“Jennifer didn’t separate her son from the gun enough to save those lives that day,” she said.
No student witnesses were called to testify in Jennifer Crumbley’s trial.
Some relatives of victims killed in the 2021 shooting say they hope Jennifer Crumbley’s conviction sends a message to other parents.
Steve St. Juliana, whose daughter Hana was the youngest student killed during the massacre, told NPR’s Morning Edition that while he was pleased with the verdict in Jennifer Crumbley’s trial, he does not see the Crumbley trials as a way to seek revenge.
“There’s nothing that’s gonna bring my daughter back,” he said. “Just trying to wake people up and secure some change that hopefully avoids this in the future.”
Each of the four charges of involuntary manslaughter both parents face carries a maximum of 15 years in prison. Jennifer Crumbley’s sentencing is set for April.