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Legal expert weighs in on the charges Ethan Crumbley’s parents face

James and Jennifer Crumbley face 4 charges of involuntary manslaughter after their son killed 4 of his peers in a school shooting.
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:21 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the teen accused of shooting and killing 4 of his schoolmates on November 30, have been charged with involuntary homicide.

Joshua Williams is an attorney and adjunct law professor at Adrian College.

“In this instance, there is enough evidence they believe to file involuntary manslaughter charges. In simplistic terms, it’s not murder as in you intended to kill someone. It’s that your actions led to the death of another and that you acted negligently,” says Williams.

Williams says following the school shooting in recent years, prosecutors are begging to crack down on the role of the parents of the shooters.

“When there are glaring signs that a child is in distress, that there is a chance for violence, especially school shootings. Prosecutors are starting to put a real obligation on the parents to make sure these firearms are secured,” says Williams.

Authorities searched for the parents on Friday. James and Jennifer Crumbley were last seen on a Zoom call at their son’s arraignment.

“When the parents are taken into custody they will have an opportunity to go in front of a judge and ask for bond. And one of the factors that is always used by defense attorneys is whether or not your client is cooperative.”

According to Williams, running away from the situation could potentially work against the couple.

“It looks bad when instead when you find out there are potential charges you abscond and stop communicating with your attorney that you obtained. That doesn’t look good on the parents,” says Williams.

In a statement, two attorneys who say they are representing the couple said, “They are not fleeing from law enforcement.”

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