News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

Crumbleys’ sentencing opens door to appeal -

Now that the parents of the Oxford school shooter have been sentenced, they can file an appeal and request publicly funded attorneys.

Jennifer and James Crumbley were each sentenced to 10-15 years in prison following involuntary manslaughter convictions for providing the gun used by their son in the Oxford High School shootings.

They are the first parents in the U.S. convicted in relation to a mass school shooting perpetrated by their child. Prosecutors argued the parents failed to heed warning signs that their son was preparing to commit a horrific crime.

The shooter is serving a sentence of life with no chance of parole for murdering four students and injuring seven other people. The Crumbley parents argued they had no way of knowing what was about to happen.
The Crumbley parents retained their own attorneys for the criminal trial but may have burned through their financial resources.

“We get a lot of cases that come through our system even though someone has had a retained attorney at the trial level,” said Bradley Hall, administrator of the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System, which assigns legal representation for people who are appealing felony convictions and cannot afford a lawyer. “An individual may have the resources to retain and hire a trial attorney, but by the time a lengthy trial process gets over, they’ve exhausted those resources, especially if they’ve been incarcerated for a lengthy period of time, lost employment, they need to rely on appointed counsel to represent them on appeal.”

The Crumbley parents have 42 days after sentencing to submit the form requesting a publicly funded appellate lawyer. Hall said he has not yet seen any paperwork requesting appellate counsel.

Attorneys for the Crumbleys did not reply to a request for comment.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network.