Parent Held Criminally Liable for Actions of Son

This is a new legal concept. In this case, the mother of the juvenile killer in the Oxford school shooting was held liable for 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the killings of her 15-year-old son. At issue was the gift of a gun to her minor son and general failure to supervise him. The killer’s father will be tried in March. Negligence is typically an issue in civil trials involving damages, but not common in criminal trials. She faces up to 15 years in prison when her sentencing happens in April.

Jennifer Crumbley verdict: Jury finds mother of Michigan school shooter guilty - The Washington Post

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I don’t know how does it look from legal perceptive in Michigan… but was it legal to give a gun as a gift to the minor?

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Giving a gun to a minor probably carried a penalty far less than 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

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Thx for info.
I’m wondering what the parents were thinking the moment they decided to give a firearm to 15 old kid… :thinking:
I usually trust my kids… but I would never trust anyone when it comes to the firearms.

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I’m sure a whole host of details vary considerably case to case and I know nothing of this one at all, but…RE: Teens with access to firearms…there are quite a few stories right at this same age over the years

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I have followed this case since the shooting. There are so many aspects to this case. The son was struggling mentally, he asked for help. The parents declined to get the son into any therapy. Son wanted a gun and the parents provided one. The parents were notified by the school of activities that concerned the staff, researching ammo in math class for one example. The day of the shooting parents were called to the school to discuss drawing of guns and blood with the words “help me” and “blood everywhere” on a math worksheet. School told parents to take the student home and get him help. Parents declined. Parents never told school that he had access to a gun while the gun was in the boy’s backpack during the meeting. The school never searched the backpack. After the shooting an empty whiskey bottle was found next to the boy’s bed. So short story, parents provided a gun and alcohol to an unstable 15-year-old and hid this from anyone that might have provided him help.

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Thx for details.
No doubt those Parents were liable for son’s actions.

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Not so new a concept. Legally, a parent has culpability for anything their minor child does. Also, manslaughter refers to a death due to the action or inaction of a third party leading to a death. It is the precedent that is disconcerting. This could be extended to a vehicle death, an accident on the football field, etc.

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I’m curious - when the legal liability for kids ends? 18? 21? The moment the child can legally posses the firearm?

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I’m not a lawyer but I would think it is the moment the child becomes an adult, 18th birthday, generally

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What if the State of residence prohibits handgun ownership by anyone under 21 yrs?

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Old enough to vote means the State is violating the Constitution.

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Seems like an epic failure on the part of the school staff and the parents. Horrendous parenting for sure but the school staff also should have taken action to protect the other students regardless of what the parents of this sick kid wanted. If that was my kid and I saw the disturbing behavior the very first thing I would do is take him out of school, search his pack and search the home to make sure all the firearms were securely locked away.

Not so sure I like this precedent though as it can open parents up to all sorts of criminal liability for the actions of their children that they may or may not have had any control over.

There were likely lesser crimes the parents could have been tried for as well as significant civil liability both the school and the parents should be faced with.

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The “slippery slope” here is would this also apply to allowing a minor access to a gun? In this case the parent bought the kid a gun. That is different than a household where guns are not secured/locked away (in a nightstand or kitchen drawer). If the parents did not buy the gun for the kid, but instead simply had guns in the house that were not locked away, and the kid took it to school, would the outcome of the case be the same? How much does the fact pattern need to change so the parents are no longer responsible?

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Maybe the parent of the children in the intercity, be held criminally liable for the child’s action!!! If they really love or fear their Mothers like they say!!! Maybe they would think twice before committing the crime!!! Or if the parent’s ass is on the line, maybe they would care more about what their child is doing!!!

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maybe I’m just showing my age, but my parents bought me my first 20-gauge deer shotgun when i was 12. I was in the last generation that had shotguns in their vehicles during school to go deer hunting with. I know quite a few in that age group that have been instructed and trusted with .22 rifles. Its all in TRAINING. You have to instruct your children on proper firearms handling, care, and the ramifications of their use. that is 100% on the parents, and they should be tried as such.

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Indeed. It also starts down the slippery slope of judging the adequacy of parenting.

My wife and I have no kids in the house, and I used to keep my guns and ammo in closet. As we had clients who came to our house, some with children in tow, I worried about “What if …” if any of the children wandering about opened that closet and found a cache of firearms. I also worried about the potential theft of the firearms while we are away from our house. So, … I invested in a free-standing safe and installed it in the garage. Worth every penny. MY wife likes it because it limits my ability to buy new guns.

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According to the parent testimony, the firearm was not “given” to the shooter. It was purchased for him to use at the range with his parents (video evidence of use at range) The Jury foreperson stated weighted factor was the firearm was last in possession of the parent.

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Yeah, and you also weren’t on SSRI’s and TikToc 24/7. These last couple generations are lost. We will have to take care of ourselves when we get old (I’m already getting there). God help the human race.

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Hello and welcome to the community @Sharon26!
Glad you are here!

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