Menu Close

James Crumbley, Michigan school shooter’s dad, says he’s ‘martyr’ in jail calls

James Crumbley, Michigan school shooter's dad, says he's 'martyr' in jail calls

James Crumbley, father of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, calls himself a “martyr” and says he feels like he “joined the military” in jail calls obtained by Fox News Digital.

An Oakland County, Michigan, judge on Tuesday sentenced James to serve between 10 and 15 years in prison after a jury found him and his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, guilty of involuntary manslaughter for their respective roles in the school shooting that their then-15-year-old son carried out on Nov. 30, 2021.

“I kind of feel like a martyr,” James says in one jail call. “We’re martyrs, you know, without the whole dying aspect of it. Because I don’t know a better word to use. So I use the word ‘martyr.’ But we’re martyrs to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else in America again. To make sure that nobody like that dumb, stupid b—h [Oakland County Prosecutor] Karen McDonald.”

He adds later on that he and his wife are “going to fight the good battle for everybody else.”


James Crumbley was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for failing to secure a gun at home and ignoring his son’s mental health. Ethan Crumbley killed four students at Oxford High School in Oakland County, Michigan, in 2021. (Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press via AP, Pool)

“I feel like I joined the military and I’m going to fight for my country,” he says. “You know, I kind of am. I’m fighting for everybody else’s freedom.”

“I feel like I joined the military and I’m going to fight for my country.”

— James Crumbley

Parts of some of James’ jail calls were read aloud in court during the defendant’s sentencing hearing on Tuesday. Specifically, prosecutors highlighted moments when James appeared to threaten McDonald, an Oakland County prosecutor who initially brought historic charges against both Crumbley parents in December 2021. They are the first parents of a school shooter in U.S. history to be charged — and convicted — for their child’s crimes.


Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald speaks during James Crumbley's trial

Oakland County, Michigan, Prosecutor Karen McDonald brought historic charges against Ethan, James and Jennifer Crumbley in December 2021. (Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press )

Ethan, now 18, pleaded guilty to the shooting and was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In other jail calls, James repeatedly uses profanities and insults against McDonald.

“Yeah, Karen McDonald, you’re going down,” he says in one call. “Go ahead, record this call. Send it to Karen McDonald. Tell her how James Crumbley’s going to take her down. She will not have a law license when I get done with her. And like I said, Karen McDonald will be working a f—ing McDonald’s because she won’t be able to get a f—ing job anywhere else.”

James Crumbley wipes his face after addressing the court during his sentencing, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Pontiac, Mich.

Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, have each been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for failing to take steps that could have prevented the killing of four students in 2021.   (Carlos Osorio)

Later on, James says that when he gets out of jail, he is going on a “rampage.”

“Karen McDonald, you’re going down, and you better be scared.”

— James Crumbley

But his defense attorney, Mariell Lehman, on Tuesday argued before Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews that her client did not physically threaten the prosecutor.


Defense attorney Mariell Lehman prepares to whisper in the ear of James Crumbley

James Crumbley’s defense attorney, Mariell Lehman, on Tuesday argued before Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews that her client did not physically threaten the prosecutor. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, Pool)

“I’m disputing… that Mr. Crumbley has ever made a physical threat against prosecutor McDonald. He has vented. He has been angry… but he has never threatened to physically harm Ms. McDonald,” Lehman said Tuesday. “Instead… the statements made by Mr. Crumbley — although there has been some language that may not be very respectful, that may be angry out of frustration for being incarcerated and on lockdown for 23 hours a day for the last two-and-a-half years, for something that Mr. Crumbley and I maintain that he did not do illegally or wrong — but he vented his frustrations.”

James later addressed the court for the first time during his sentencing; he did not testify during his trial as his wife did.


WATCH: James Crumbley speaks at sentencing

“I really want the families of Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre and Justin Shilling to know… how truly sorry I am and how devastated I was when I heard what happened to them,” James said. “I have cried for you and the loss of your children more times than I can count. I know your pain and loss will never go away. Part of you will be missing forever. But please know that I am truly very sorry.”

James’ statement concluded with a loud declaration that the court did not know the whole truth about the shooting: “The whole truth has not been told. And I’m with you. … I, too, want the truth. You have not had it. You have not had the truth at all.”

Oxford High School shooting victims

Ethan used a 9 mm SIG Sauer, which James purchased for him, to shoot up Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. The firearm contained several rounds of ammunition when authorities recovered it. Jennifer posted about the purchase on social media, calling it a Christmas gift for her teenage son, just days before the massacre.

The gun was also not properly secured in the Crumbleys’ home, prosecutors revealed during both trials. Ethan had target posters marked with bullet holes hanging up in his bedroom.

Ethan Crumbley is shown at a shooting range in a video displayed in court, Thursday, July 27, 2023, in Pontiac, Mich.

Ethan Crumbley is shown at a shooting range in a video displayed in court in Pontiac, Michigan, on July 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Prosecutors have suggested the Crumbleys could have stopped the shooting before it happened when they arrived at Oxford High on the morning of Nov. 30 to meet with school counselors after Ethan was caught scrawling disturbing notes in class.

His notes included an image of a gun and the phrases “Help me,” “Blood everywhere” and “My life is useless.”

Ethan Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley mugshots

From left: Ethan Crumbley, Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley. (Oakland County Sheriff)

But the parents turned away after the meeting, leaving their son at school while they went back to work. Ethan later pulled a firearm out of his backpack, fatally shooting four students and injuring seven others. The shooting has resulted in several civil lawsuits against the elder Crumbleys and school administrators, alleging that they failed to prevent the shooting.

The day before the school massacre, Ethan made a 19-minute video describing what he was going to do the next day, prosecutors said during Jennifer’s trial.

After the shooting, the Crumbleys allegedly fled Oxford and went to Detroit with $6,000 in cash following some initial questioning from police. U.S. Marshals eventually apprehended them days later, on Dec. 4, 2021.

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *