A three-judge panel with the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the parents of the teenager who killed four people in a shooting at Oxford High School will have to stand trial.
James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and have pleaded not guilty. Their son, Ethan, pleaded guilty to 24 charges against him, including murder.
Prosecutors said that the Crumbleys are responsible for the shooting committed by their son because they failed to recognize warning signs that he had violent tendencies. In addition, James purchased the gun used in the shooting and gave it to his son as an early Christmas gift.
Officials also said that they failed to act when Ethan got in trouble at school for looking up information about ammunition online during class. While the school contacted his parents, they did not respond, and his mother even sent him a text message that said: "lol, I'm not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught."
Hours before the shooting, Ethan found himself in trouble again at school. This time, a teacher noticed a drawing of a gun with the words, "The thoughts won't stop, help me."
His parents were called to the school, and they promised to get him counseling. However, they let him stay at school for the rest of the day, and a few hours later, he pulled out the gun and started shooting.