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Mom of child killed in school shooting calls Crumbley parents apology ‘disgraceful’

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the first parents in the U.S. to be charged and then convicted in their child’s mass shooting, were sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison.
/ Source: TODAY

Nicole Beausoleil, the mother of one of the four students killed in the Oxford High School shooting in 2021, called the apology from the parents of the shooter "a disgraceful thing."

James and Jennifer Crumbley, the first parents in the U.S. to be charged and then convicted in their child's mass shooting, were sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison on April 9, weeks after jurors found both parents guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Both parents apologized to the victims' families after hearing victim impact statements at their sentencing hearing. Beausoleil said on TODAY April 10 that she didn't find James and Jennifer Crumbley's apologies to be genuine.

"I felt like it was a way for them to, again, place blame on somebody else versus themselves in those statements," Beausoleil said. "There was still no accountability for their actions. There was no remorse."

Beausoleil specifically referenced how James Crumbley interacted with the father of 16-year-old shooting victim Tate Myre as he spoke at the sentencing hearing.

James Crumbley
James Crumbley, father of Oxford High School mass shooter Ethan Crumbley, entered the courtroom on April 9, 2024.Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

"It was just unacceptable, and it felt like almost a slap in the face to us once again, stating that we were, you know, pushing hard for the facts," she said. "It just felt like it was more of a disgraceful thing."

Beausoleil also spoke during the hearing, and said getting to say the words to the Crumbleys felt "almost like a sense of relief."

"It's a constant reminder of the events that I went through that day, and I wanted to let the parents know exactly how I felt that day after watching video surveillance of them," Beausoleil said. "Seeing their demeanors and the questions that they had and what they were worried about versus what I was going through."

She continued: "Really just showing the difference of parenting and the difference of a loving mother and a mother that really just cared more for herself. And that's exactly what the prosecution team was saying before too, is that you were neglecting your child."

Jennifer Crumbley
Jennifer Crumbley during the sentencing hearing on April 9, 2024.Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Beausoleil added she thought Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews' maximum sentences, which went beyond the state's guidelines, sent a message.

"I feel like it sends a message to really listen to your children. There should be accountability for every action that we have, and it sends a message to parents all around, and even grandparents and any kind of guardian that children come first and they should be the priority," she said.

Beausoleil’s 17-year-old daughter, Madisyn Baldwin, was killed during the shooting on Nov. 30, 2021, and she described her as a "kind soul."

"She really was that that heartbeat to our family. She just constantly put herself last. She always wanted everybody to smile," Beausoleil said. "She was a great student. She was incredible big sister, always looking out for her little siblings, especially her brother who has special needs — she just wanted to go out into society and make a difference."

"And that's exactly who she was," she added. "The wit and the charisma that she had was undeniable, and I miss her very much."

When were James and Jennifer Crumbley sentenced?

Matthews sentenced both James and Jennifer Crumbley to 10 to 15 years in prison on April 9, in their first joint court appearance since Matthews ordered for their trials to be separated last year.

“These convictions confirm repeated acts that could have halted an oncoming runaway train,” Matthews said.

Prosecutors had asked Matthews to sentence both parents to 10 to 15 years on four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each of the students their son killed.

Prosecutors had added that felonies that arise out of the same event in Michigan must be served concurrently, according to Michigan state law, meaning the maximum sentence Matthews could have imposed was 15 years.

The couple would get credit for the days they have served in Oakland County Jail since their arrests in 2021, Matthews said.

Matthews said during the hearing the the family wouldn’t be imprisoned together, and that the Michigan Department of Corrections had indicated James and Ethan Crumbley wouldn’t be placed in the same facility, due to their relationship.

Ethan Crumbley is currently serving his sentence in a prison 17 miles from Oxford High School, NBC News reported.

Jennifer Crumbley would be sent to the only women’s prison in the state to serve her sentence, Matthews said.

Before handing down their sentences, Matthews had victims read impact statements before the court, where many families of the victims asked for the maximum sentence to be imposed.

“When you texted, ‘Ethan don’t do it,’ I was texting, ‘Madisyn I love you, please call mom,’” Beausoleil told the Crumbleys in court. “When you found out about the lives your son took that day, I was still waiting for my daughter in the parking lot.”

Craig Shilling, the father of Justin Shilling, said he was troubled by Jennifer Crumbley's testimony that she wouldn't have done anything differently.

“The blood of our children is on your hands, too,” Craig Shilling said.

Before her sentencing, Jennifer Crumbley said she felt "deep remorse, regret and grief" for the shooting.

“We were good parents,” she said. “We were the average family. We weren’t perfect, but we loved our son and each other tremendously.”

James Crumbley said he would have acted differently prior to the shooting, and that he didn't know what his son was planning to do that day.

“Please note that I am truly sorry for your loss as a result of what my son did,” he told the families of the victims. “I cannot express how much I wish I had known what was going on with him or what was going to happen.”

During their trials, James Crumbley did not take the stand, while Jennifer Crumbley testified in her own defense.

Jennifer Crumbley told jurors she did not dismiss clear warning signs about her son leading up to the shooting. She described him as quiet and having few friends, but said she never thought he was a danger to others.

“I wish he would’ve killed us instead,” she testified.

James and Jennifer Crumbley's son, Ethan Crumbley, was sentenced in 2023 to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to killing Baldwin, Myre, Justin Shilling, 17, and Hana St. Juliana, 14.

Prosecutors have said they do not plan to charge anyone else in connection with the shooting.