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One World with Zain Asher

CNN Covers The Sentencing Of School Shooter's Parents; Trump Unveils His Position On Abortion. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired April 09, 2024 - 12:00   ET




SHANNON SMITH, JENNIFER CRUMBLEY'S ATTORNEY: I'm talking about not being able to call the medical professionals, not being able to call the shooter

to the stand, not being able to cross examine on various pieces of evidence.

CHERYL MATTHEWS, OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN: JUDGE: I'm not convinced the shooter would have helped you.

SMITH: All of those are obviously issues, but there were things that hamstrung the defense and I do believe the shooter would have helped and I

do believe the forensic records would have helped. And I understand the court has already ruled on that. I understand that.

The tendency, though, after hearing the narrative that has been made public has been to make Jennifer Crumbley sound like a monster, to vilify her, to

make her sound like a horrible mother and evil person.

And the truth is, it's an effort to put her in a categorical other to say this is not something that could happen to any of us and it is. It is

something that could happen to any of us. And people fail to realize what the sentencing memo shows the court through numerous others' support that

Mrs. Crumbley does have a kind heart.

She does have compassion. She has spent night after night crying, not for only herself and her son, but also for the victims and for what her son did

and what she will live with, knowing he did, and what she missed, all the years forward.

At the end of the day, we ask the court to look at Mrs. Crumbley's role in the offenses. We ask the court to consider that while she did not oppose

having a gun in the home, she was not the person who was responsible for storing the gun and believed it was being stored properly and that it was

locked. Mrs. Crumbley obviously testified, and all of the evidence at trial showed that she believed there was a string lock, a cable lock, placed on

the gun, on the weapon.

MATTHEWS: I don't mean to interrupt you, but that has really troubled me from your sentencing model because you spent a lot of time talking about

the fact that she didn't know anything about the gun. She didn't like it. She wasn't responsible for it.

But at one time, she was texting her husband to see whether or not he got the gun and how much it was. She posted pictures of it as her son's

Christmas present. She shot the gun, and I don't know if you're aware of this. I don't know if either side was aware of this, but the first jury

determined that there was a claim that the gun was the responsibility solely of Defendant James Crumbley.

And Mrs. Crumbly testified that when she returned from the range of the shooter on November 27th, it was the Defendant James Crumbley who was

responsible for the six-hour retreat from the car, and was supposed to keep it safe.

The first jury recognized that the GPS embedded in the case shows that even prior to the Defendant James Crumbley returning to the house, the shooter

was videotaping the unlocked six-hour in the kitchen of the home. So, that's not true. That's not true. She also testified that a key to the

cable lock was kept in the rear side of the kitchen, but it's clear that the cable lock was clearly never opened.

SMITH: Your honor, first of all, the jury's finding about the timing of the GPS and when the gun video was made is not correct. The evidence at trial

did not support that. We know that's not correct.

Mrs. Crumbley left the gun in the car so that James Crumbley could put the gun in the house and store it correctly. Mrs. Crumbley -- there were

multiple cable locks in that house because there were -- there was more than one cable lock. There was not just the cable lock that was on the six-

hour. There was --there was more than one.

MATTHEWS: -- called him.

SMITH: There were not more than one found, but whatever Ethan Crumbley did with the cable lock from the six-hour, we don't know.

MATTHEWS: The gun wasn't locked.

SMITH: Your Honor, during, okay, actually, during Mrs. Crumbley's trial, it was not proven that the gun was not locked. I don't know what happened at

James's trial -- James Crumbley's trial.

MATTHEWS: Do you know about his statements? The gun was never locked.

SMITH: Whose statements?

MATTHEWS: Mr. Crumbley's statements.

SMITH: Mr. Crumbley and Mrs. Crumbly talked about how the gun had been locked in, in all of the evidence I saw.


Well, Your Honor, obviously, we have to actually look for disputes.

MATTHEWS: Go on, go on. I don't think the evidence has shown that she had no involvement with the gun.

SMITH: I -- and I'm not saying no involvement, I said she supported the gun, she didn't object to the gun, but when it came down to it, probation

writes in her narrative that she taught her son how to use the gun, and it's very obvious watching the evidence in the trial that she was not the

one teaching him how to use the gun.

MATTHEWS: There's no evidence that she taught him how to use the gun.

SMITH: The -- when Mrs. Crumbley spoke, she acknowledged what the testimony was at trial about all of the different things that she wished had come to

her attention from the school employees, and the prosecutor's office has said that the proposal the defense has made regarding Mrs. Crumbley is a

slap in the face, and what's truly a slap in the face, not only to the victims in this case, but also to the Crumbleys, is how much the Oxford

schools did fail the Crumbleys and all the victims.

Because if Mrs. Crumbley had been presented any of those five things, things would be different, and we would probably not be here today. I am

asking this court, I know the court of public opinion is running high right now, emotions are running very high. There are many, many complicated

issues with this case.

It is a dynamic and different case than most cases. Mrs. Crumbley does have a good heart. This is a woman who had no felony history. She was a working

mom who was very busy, did have a hobby. And I'm just saying, largely the evidence at trial were some of those things.

And Mrs. Crumbley did have an enormous amount of love for her son, and what she has been painted out to be in the media and throughout this case, and

even throughout the victim impact statements today, is just not congruent with the people who know Mrs. Crumbley and know her heart. It's also not

congruent with the text messages she sent right after the shooting about how she wished she would have died instead of one of the kids.

MATTHEWS: I don't think the verdict was about how feeling she is or how sad she is. I think the verdict was about behaviors that led up to that day.

SMITH: Well, there has been an enormous amount of criticism about whether or not she's sad enough, and there was cross-examination extensively about

whether she cried or not enough on the stand or during the videos that were played of police interviews and things like that. And then, on the same

hand, when Mrs. Crumbley --

MATTHEWS: I don't doubt that they were well in shock. It was that way.

SMITH: And at the end of the day, though, when she did cry, there was an objection about crying. And so, Mrs. Crumbley, from the very beginning, has

been damned no matter what way she went. This was the most horrific thing that could have happened to the community, to the victims, to these

families. Absolutely horrific.

At the end of the day, however, it's a unique and complicated case, and that is why I proposed the sentence I did. I don't believe the sentencing

guidelines take into account the very unique situation that we have in this case with a young man who will be in prison forever. I'm asking the court

to keep that in mind, and please keep in mind the other arguments throughout the memo.

MATTHEWS: I think you know that I read everything you submit.

SMITH: I do, and I appreciate that. Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Do you want to respond now, or do you want to hear from the subpoena first?

UNKNOWN: I'd prefer just to be able to respond once, Your Honor.

MATTHEWS: Are you okay with that?

UNKNOWN: That's fine, your honor.

MATTHEWS: Would you like to address the court, or would you like your client to address the court, please?

UNKNOWN: Would you like to address the court, James?


UNKNOWN: Yes, your honor. Mr. Crumbley will address the court. For the record, he does have something typed out that I typed out for him, so it

was bigger. It's easier for him to read, your honor. You can't do both.

JAMES CRUMBLEY: I apologize.

UNKNOWN: No, she said she cannot tell them to do both. Your Honor, there was some confusion about whether or not he could get his second handcuff

off. I was just clarifying. The court said she cannot tell the sheriff about this.

MATTHEWS: Does he have to keep the handcuff off?

UNKNOWN: Yes, he does.

UNKNOWN: I was just clarifying, Your Honor. Thank you.

JAMES CRUMBLEY: Before I address this court directly, I want to do something that I have never been able to do throughout this time until now.


I want to say I can't imagine the pain and agony that the families, for the families that have lost their children and what they're experiencing and

what they're going through. As a parent, our biggest fear is losing our child or our children. And to lose a child is unimaginable. I -- my heart

is really broken for everybody involved.

I understand my words are not going to bring any comfort. I understand that they're not going to relieve any pain. And quite frankly, they probably

just don't believe me. However, I really want the families of Madison 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.

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. I am sorry for your loss as a result of what my son did. I cannot express how much I wish

that I had known what was going on with him or what was going to happen. Because I absolutely would have done a lot of things differently.

Again, my heart pours out to every single one of you. It really does. Judge Matthews, I'm not going to overdo a lot of things that were already said.

But I know the full amount of pressure that you have on you and the responsibility that has been placed on you throughout this case.

I have the utmost respect for you. And I'm simply going to ask that you sentence me in a fair and just way. You presided over my trial and heard

the evidence that was presented against me. You know that what my son did, I was not aware of, or that he was planning it, or that he obtained access

to the firearms in my house. There was absolutely no evidence that suggested that.

As my attorneys told you, I've been on lockdown for 23 hours a day. I've not been able to speak to my son since November 30th. And I have not been

able to speak with my wife since December 3rd. I know that I have experienced pales and compassion to what those families have lost, their

children, and countless other victims experience every day because of what my son did. But I want you to know, I too, grieve for everyone, as I have


For everyone that's been affected by what my son pled guilty to doing. And I'll continue to feel this pain for the rest of my life, as well. If I

could go back and change things, if I could go back and do things differently, and maybe none of us would be here today.


So again, I ask your honor to impose a just and fair sentence based on the truth about what you heard during my trial. I'm asking the court to

sentence me to time served, and place me on probation for the maximum time allowed with the GPS tether, for as long as the court deems necessary.

I also want to address one last thing, and that's to what Tate Myre's dad said. It is time that we all know the truth. We have been prohibited from

telling the whole truth. The whole truth has not been told. And I'm with you, Mr. Myre I, too, want the truth. Because you have not had it. You have

not had the truth at all. The truth has not been presented to you. Thank you.

UNKNOWN: Thank you, your honor. Thank you, your honor. I did submit a sentencing memorandum, your honor. I'm not going to belabor the points that

I made in my memorandum, as I do believe that it was thorough. However, I do want to note for the court that, especially in statements that have been

made about James, that he lacks remorse, that he doesn't feel bad, that he's trying to put off responsibility on everyone but himself, that he's

allegedly made threats toward the elected prosecutor.

Your honor, in some of the same calls that the prosecution has tried to use and has quoted in their own sentencing memorandum and attached as exhibits

to their memorandum, as I noted in my sentencing memorandum, your honor, James also said in those very same calls that he wished that he had known

what his son was capable of.

That if he had known, if he had been made aware of these things, if he had known that his son had obtained access to a firearm, that maybe he could

have saved the poor children's lives, that maybe he could have saved a lot more than that.

Your honor, there has never been a time that James Crumbley has not acknowledged what happened in this case. He has felt horrific grief for not

only the families, but for the people who have been affected. He's grieved for himself, for his own child.

And while that may not be something that is a popular statement to make, he's grieved for the child that he believed he had. Not the child who pled

guilty, but the child that he believed he had on the morning of November 30th when he dropped his son off at school.

James could not have predicted what his son was going to do that day. He couldn't have predicted because he didn't know that it was going to happen.

As James said, your honor, you sat through the trial, judge. You heard the evidence that was presented.

You also know that there was no indication given in the evidence presented that James had knowledge of what his son was planning, that James didn't

know that his son had been accessing that firearm unsupervised or that he had access to the firearm unsupervised.

Judge, you heard that that firearm was stored legally at the laws at the time, in November of 2021, that there may be differing opinions on whether

or not that firearm was stored responsibly, your honor.


BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: All right, quite a stunning hour and a half that we've been listening in an Oakland County, Michigan

courtroom at the sentencing of Jennifer and James Crumble y, the two parents of Ethan Crumbly, who was charged for manslaughter for killing four

students in 2021 in his classroom at school.

A really precedent setting case involving the parents given that they were just convicted of involuntary manslaughter regarding their son. And we've

been hearing quite emotional testimony, victims' impact statements from the families of those four teens who Ethan Crumbley killed. And then now, we

have heard both from Jennifer and James Crumbley in their defense before we hear the actual sentencing from the judge.

Hello, everyone. A very somber, quite emotional afternoon. I'm Bianna Golodryga. Welcome to "One World" along with Zain Asher here.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Yeah, and what we just heard in terms of the statement that we got from Jennifer and James Crumbly was really

just painting a picture of remorse, saying that, listen, if we had known, right, if we had known what our son was capable of, we would have

absolutely done something different.


But we did not know. And pleading for remorse, essentially. The prosecutors at this point looking for the maximum, which is about 15 years. Defense

attorneys hoping to get at least five years or around five years with consideration made for time already served.

I want to bring in Misty Marris. Attorney Misty Marris joining us live now. So, Misty, just walk us through your thoughts on the statement. Obviously,

the victim statements, the victim impact statements that we heard this morning, gut-wrenching, absolutely heartbreaking.

I mean, how could you not listen to that and not cry? But just in terms of what we heard from the parents, you know, making their case, trying to show

their remorse, what sort of impact do you think that will have in terms of the judge's decision here?

MISTY MARRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, to your point, those victim impact statements were exactly that word, impactful. They were so gut-wrenching.

There was not a dry eye for anybody that was watching that, not just those in the courtroom.

But turning to the defense, we heard the arguments that the defense attorneys were raising. And from a defense perspective, those are the

arguments that need to be raised. Recklessness standard, that while there are four victims, there was only one act.

Ethan was tried as an adult. You know, he was sentenced as an adult. So, that means that he had an intervening act. And they're also talking about

the particular harshness of the sentences they've served so far, 23 hours a day, solitary, and they've served two and a half years.

So, taking all of that, those are the legal arguments. Now, we're putting the two individuals who are defendants in this case, giving them the

opportunity to speak. And so what they were doing, they were hitting on those legal points but coming directly from them.

And you nailed it. The main issue here is that aspect of remorse. That is something that the judge is absolutely going to be looking for. Remember

the pillars of our criminal justice system. Deterrence, rehabilitation, and punishment. So, we've seen that aspect of remorse looped in with


So, I think right now, James Crumbley, we never heard from him.


MARRIS: We never heard from him before. So, that was his first statement to the families and acknowledging how horrible all of this was while still

hitting the points on the legal arguments that are necessary in this type of proceeding.

GOLODRYGA: Misty, ahead of the sentencing, and we'll take it as soon as we hear from the judge, again, prosecutors looking for a maximum of 15 years.

The defendants, having no prior criminal record, are asking for a much more lenient 5 years and then obviously factoring in the 2 years for time

served. Both of these parents had separate trials, as you said.

James did not testify in his trial. And we'll recall that when Jennifer did, she was quite defiant, saying she wouldn't have done anything

differently, that they were a normal family, that he was a normal son, and sort of deflecting the blame really to her son and the school for


A bit different in her defense that we heard from Jennifer today. And as you said, from James, more remorse, saying that they didn't know of certain

things at the time and that they would have acted differently, and showing more remorse for the parents in saying they can't imagine the pain that

these victims' parents have endured. Do you think any of that would have impacted this judge differently, perhaps, if we had seen that in their

defense earlier?

MARRIS: Well, at this point, I do think that James made a strategic decision not to testify. During the sentencing, you have the opportunity to

speak, and from a defense perspective, you walk a fine line, because remember, they both have pending appeals. So, they have to ensure whatever

admissions they make in court is consistent not just with the arguments that need to be made, but also with an appellate case.

I don't know if that would have actually changed the outcome of this case. I tend to think it would not have on the guilt phase of the trial. However,

hearing from James specifically, the judge hearing from him, I do think that that's helpful. There had been a void on that front, that he's

actually now addressing the families and the judge.

Now, turning to Jennifer, wow, those words that we flagged during the trial that just seemed to be, understandably, defense perspective, you want to

say that this wasn't foreseeable, but that she wouldn't have done anything differently, that is coming back to haunt her in this sentencing

proceeding. And you're hearing it being explained time and time again that that was taken out of context, almost over-explained, in my opinion.

And her attorney, when making, you know, her final plea to the court for leniency for Jennifer, almost getting shut down by the judge on some of the

factual issues in the case and trying to bring in evidence that never made its way into the courtroom during the trial, trying to talk about other

issues that were not heard by the jury and they're outside of the record.


So, I don't know how much Jennifer's statement is really going to move the needle here. She's giving contrition. She's explaining what she said. But

to me, I didn't really find it to be very moving, especially in contrast to those victim impact statements.

And that's, again, with that ear towards understanding that defense perspective that you can't do anything that will put your appeal in peril

and the legal arguments need to get on the record. But I think those words, oh, gosh, I can't get them out of my head, and that's what we heard a lot

of. The parents who suffered this loss say, I wouldn't have done anything differently. It's really difficult to get over that hurdle.

ASHER: I mean, that's a great point because at the end of the day, a lot of people are looking at this saying, how could you say that you wouldn't have

done anything differently? I mean, the parents of Ethan are the ones who gave and bought him that gun. Think about the violent drawings, the text

messages that were uncovered.

And obviously, as you point out, those words clearly now coming back to haunt her as her lawyers are trying to argue for a lighter sentencing.

Misty Morris, live for us there. Thank you so much. Stay with us. We will come back as soon as we hear anything about sentencing, but we'll be right

back after this short break.


ASHER: All right, we are waiting for the judge to sentence Jennifer and James Crumbley who were convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Their

teenage son, Ethan, killed four students at his high school in Oxford, Michigan in 2021.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, before the Crumbley's learned their fate, the parents of the victims addressed the Crumbley's. Prosecutors asked the judge to

sentence them to 10 to 15 years in prison each over what they called their chilling lack of remorse. We will bring you that sentencing when it


Meantime, turning to another top story, Donald Trump is getting some pretty serious pushback on his newly announced abortion stance, and it's coming

from conservatives.

ASHER: On Monday, Trump unveiled his position on abortion, saying he thinks the issue should be left up to individual states, while at the same time

praising the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Many people have asked me what my position is on abortion and abortion rights, especially since I was

proudly the person responsible for the ending of something that all legal scholars, both sides, wanted and, in fact, demanded be ended -- Roe v.




ASHER: Trump's statement angered anti-abortion activists who have been pushing for some kind of national abortion ban. Among the critics of

Trump's position were his former vice president, Mike Pence, and one of his staunchest allies in Congress, Senator Lindsey Graham.


LINDSEY GRAHAM, U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN: I think Trump is right in this regard. It's a state issue up to a point, and as that child develops, I

think the American people find a consensus around 15 weeks that they'd like to limit abortion. So, I think it's going to be a debate that will



ASHER: All right, time now for The Exchange. We want to dig deeper into the electoral consequences of the abortion issue. Joining us live now is

Jacqueline Ayers. She is the senior vice president for policy, campaigns, and advocacy at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and, of course, a

staunch pro-choice advocate.

Jacqueline, thank you so much for being with us. Just want to get your reaction to Donald Trump's announcement that he believes that this is a

decision that should really be left up to individual states. Obviously, he knows, based on what we've seen politically in this country over the past

two years, that this is not necessarily a winning issue for Republicans, especially when it comes to the general election. That has been made very

clear, and he doesn't really want to get his hands dirty politically. So, give us your reaction to that.

JACQUELINE AYERS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND: Yeah, thank you very much for having me. I think what I would say is that

we are seeing the same Donald Trump that he has always been. It's just a different day and a different line. You know, Donald Trump is saying what

he has to, what he believes he has to, to get back into the White House because he knows that his record is deeply unpopular.

And voters are not going to be fooled by this. He has a record. He's responsible for the abortion access crisis that we have in the country

today. And you only have to look at his record as a president. As a president, he created a massive disaster for abortion rights. He named that

he would put in place Supreme Court justices that would be hostile to abortion access. And he, in fact, did appoint three justices who voted

against Roe v. Wade, all of those nominees voting to overturn.

And once the decision came down to overturn Roe v. Wade, he celebrated that. He's repeatedly taken credit for that. So, we absolutely know that if

he were given the opportunity, he would still support a nationwide abortion ban.

GOLODRYGA: And we've seen this a huge issue for Democrats, a winning issue ever since that decision from the Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, or whether

it's the midterms, whether it's even states having their own votes on this issue, red states where we've seen Kansas, for example.

Republicans even turn out and say they don't want that to be a position that they have to work with. They're just legislated by their own state

government. It's going to be on the ballot again. In Florida, I'm wondering how you think this changes the Biden campaign's rollout and focus in swing

states in particular.

They just launched a new ad that focused on the death of a woman in Texas following their strict abortion laws and blamed it squarely on Republicans

in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. What do you make of that? Is this a winning issue for the Biden campaign?

AYERS: Yeah, I think there's no question that abortion is on the ballot, and it's going to, every time this question has been brought to the voters,

we know where they stand. Seven out of seven states where there's been a ballot initiative, we have seen that voters across identity and parties

very much support access to their bodily autonomy.

And so, those anti-abortion politicians who are trying to push deeply unpopular positions are absolutely, in this election, going to find

themselves that voters are just not with them. We've seen the clear contrast between the Biden-Marris administration and what Donald Trump

offers voters, which is that they are very supportive and clear about the right of people to be able to make healthcare decisions with their doctors,

not involving politicians, not involving the government.

And listen, we have a crisis right now, right? We need to be able to have elected officials who understand there are 21 states that have abortion

bans. That means people, one in three women actually right now, plus trans people, non-binary folks, that leaves them without meaningful access to

their healthcare. That means that they are having to leave the states that they call home just to get access to healthcare.

So I think it's very clear that voters understand in the two years we've seen since the Roe decision has fallen that there are those politicians who

want to be for your bodily autonomy and for your ability to make your own decisions, and those like Donald Trump who will just say whatever is

needed, but actually his policies show differently.


ASHER: All right, Jacqueline Ayers, live for us there, thank you so much. Right, let's go back now to the sentencing trial of the parents of Ethan

Crumbley where the judge is speaking.


MATTHEWS: I'm very aware of my job to not be swayed by public opinion, by media, by any of those different things. I can't and will not pretend to

understand the pain the families are experiencing, but I did sit through these trials with you. I saw what you saw. I heard what you heard. So, I

can and will offer my deepest and most sincere condolences for your unfathomable losses.

As I just said, it's not my role, it's not the role of the court system to make an example of the defendants. However, it is a goal of sentencing to

act as a deterrent. These charges are not jury index about gun ownership or keeping a gun in a private home. All the jurors in both trials agreed that

they understood that.

Parenting is a complex job. Parenting practices around the world share the goals of ensuring health and safety, preparation for life as a productive

adult, and transmission of cultural values. Parents are not expected to be psychic. But these convictions are not about poor parenting.

These convictions confirm repeated acts or lack of acts that could have halted an oncoming runaway train. About repeatedly ignoring things that

would make a reasonable person feel the hair on the back of their neck stand out.

Opportunity knocked over and over again, louder and louder, and was ignored. No one answered. And these two people should have and sure didn't.

Mr. Crumbley, it's clear to this court that because of you, there was unfettered access to a gun or guns, as well as ammunition in your home. You

characterized yourself as a martyr and threatened the well-being of the prosecutor.

Mrs. Crumbley, you glorified the use and possession of these weapons. Your attitude toward your son and his behaviors was dispassionate and apathetic.

Your response to school staff after a 12-minute meeting was, are we done here? During your trial, you announced that you wouldn't do anything

different. I understand that that might have been misinterpreted, but it did cut the victims deep.

Because of both of your actions and inaction, among many, many other things, the world is missing out on a top college university. We'll miss

out on Tate's star quality football skills. I met Reena (ph), who's wise beyond her years, and she's told us that among many, many other things,

community will be denied Hana's kindness, creativity, and sense of humor.

Among many, many other things, the world will miss is Madison's kind and loving soul and the light that reflected her beauty, both inside and out.

Although a heroine dies because of his organ donations that helped so many, you will never know where Justin, an excellent student with vast skills and

interests, described as a mentor and a leader, would have left his giant imprint.

The impact statements given here and the written statements provided to the court describe the cataclysmic impact the deaths of these children have had

on their children. With regard to each defendant, this court has spent night and day thinking about this case, as you can imagine.

I've prayed about this case. I've thought about this case. And I've considered the possibility for rehabilitation, the need to protect society,

the penalty appropriate to the conduct and goal of deterring others from similar conduct.

I have reviewed the pre-sentence investigation reports. I am, of course, sadly familiar with the facts and circumstances of these cases, as well as

those surrounding each defendant. The advisory sentencing guidelines in this matter do not capture the catastrophic impact of the acts or inaction

in these matters. The guidelines do not take into account the complete lack of insight both defendants have or their behavior to this very day.


The guidelines do not account for the severity of the circumstances in this matter. The guidelines ignore the survivors, including shooting victims

Phoebe Arthur, Elijah Mueller, Riley Franz, Kylie Osage, John Eschudo, Molly Darnell, and Aidan Watson. They were deeply wounded, both physically

and emotionally.

In addition to the seven wounded, each of the defendants' gross negligence has caused unimaginable suffering to hundreds of others as a result of what

happened that day. Each act or inaction created a ripple effect. Therefore, an out-of-guidelines sentence is appropriate and proportional.

The Court uses the useful tool of the legislative guidelines, which embody the principles of proportionality, while also taking into account the

nature of the offense and the background of each defendant. I believe that the following sentences would be in the best interest of justice and are

reasonable and proportionate to the seriousness of the matter and the circumstances surrounding each defendant.

With regard to Jennifer Crumbley, it is the sentence of this Court, Ms. Crumbley, that you serve 10 to 15 years with the Michigan Department of

Corrections. You will have credit for 858 days. State costs are $272. There's a crime victim's rights fee of $130. You and your agents may not

have any contact with the families of Madison Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, and Justin Shilling. I will issue another ruling with regard to

contact with your son, the shooter. Excuse me.

As to Defendant James Crumbley, it is the sentence of this Court that you serve 10 to 15 years with the Michigan Department of Corrections, that you

receive credit for 858 days, that you pay state costs in the matter of $272, that there is a crime victim's rights fee of $130, that you or your

agents have no contact with the families of Madison Baldwin, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, and Justin Shilling.

Ms. Wheeler (ph), have I left anything out with regard to sentencing? No restitution has been requested by any of the families at this time,


UNKNOWN: That's correct.

MATTHEWS: Thank you. I would like to advise both defendants that you are entitled to appellate review of your conviction and sentence.


GOLODRYGA: Okay, and there you heard it. Judge Cheryl Matthews sentencing James and Jennifer Crumbley to the maximum 10 to 15 years in prison for the

involuntary manslaughter that they were convicted of -- of four high school students back in 2021. Obviously, this is a precedent-setting case, given

that it was actually their son, Ethan --

ASHER: Right.

GOLODRYGA: -- who pulled the trigger and was behind the murders. This judge saying that this case has kept her up night and day, that she's been

thinking about this in regards to some of their grievances about public opinion.

She said she is not swayed by public opinion. It is not her role to make an example of this case and the precedents that it does set. And she went on

to say that parents are not expected to be perfect. They're not expected to be psychics. This is not about parenting.

But then she went on to say it's about negligence, that opportunity knocked and knocked at the door, she said, and no one answered. And so, there you

hear it. Both parents sentenced 10 to 15 years with 858 days credit for time already served.

ASHER: Yeah, I mean, listen, she talked about the fact that parenting, as every parent knows, is a very complex job, right? As you said, she touched

on the fact that you're not supposed to know everything. You're not supposed to be able to read the future in terms of knowing what your child

is going to do or knowing that they're going to carry out a heinous crime, but that there were warning signs here.

And she listed the fact that there were certain things that actually weighed on her decision, including the fact that James Crumbley threatened

the prosecutor, he characterized himself as a martyr, and also Jennifer Crumbley did say, and actually Misty Morris was saying that that statement

would come back to haunt her, but she did say previously that there was nothing that she would have done differently.

And the judge said, listen, I know that those statements may have been mischaracterized, but the fact is you did say that, right? You did say

that. I want to bring in trial attorney and legal analyst Misty Marris to join us back again.

So, Misty, you and I were speaking a few hours ago about what we anticipated to be the sentence here. Ten to 15 years, just walk us through

whether that is significantly higher than what you were anticipating and why you think the judge leaned towards the maximum here.

MARRIS: Yes, absolutely. So, what you heard the judge speak about was the sentencing guidelines.


And those are sentencing guidelines. that are set by the state relating to manslaughter convictions. And the sentencing guidelines in this particular

case were, believe it or not, three point five to seven years. So, what the defense was asking for would fall in the middle there. They were asking for

five years. Now, the judge went higher than that. The judge went 10 to 15 years. That's what the prosecution was asking for.

So, in order to do so, the judge has to explain why she is going above the guidelines. And boy, oh, boy, did she do that in that statement that she

made from the bench, talking about the opportunities that the Crumbleys had to stop Ethan from this terrible act, talking about the impact on the

community, that it goes beyond just the families of those that lost their lives, that it is so much more than that.

And also specifically referencing with James Crumbley that jailhouse phone call where he essentially, she says, calls himself a martyr and threatens

prosecutors. That absolutely weighed in her sentence. And I think that's one of the reasons why he spoke today, to try and undercut that. And

Jennifer Crumbley, those words that she wouldn't have done anything differently also seem to be very impactful to the judge. She knows this

case inside and out.

And so, she's very, very familiar with the facts. She said public opinion isn't going to sway her, but this is a proportionate punishment for the

acts of the Crumbleys. And I do think the victim impact statements, just like we were all moved by them, I think that also impacted her


GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Judge Matthews, you're right to point out, focused on the behavior, the parents' behavior over these past two years. James calling

himself a martyr, threatening the well-being of the prosecutor. As you said, with Jennifer famously testifying that she wouldn't have done

anything differently.

And the judge also referencing her very rather flippant comments when they were brought into the school for a 12-minute meeting about the concerns

over Ethan and his well-being and behavior. And she finished up by asking, are we done yet?

Misty, as you know, every judge, when they're issuing their decision, especially one as high-profile as this one, and we know that an appeal is

in the works as it is, has to make sure that their decision, every I is dotted, every T is crossed, and to try to make the decision as appeal-proof

as possible. From everything that you heard this judge touched upon, not being swayed by the public opinion or how these people were portrayed, do

you think that she did enough?

MARRIS: What I think she did in this sentence was very, very calculated. As you said, you make an excellent point. She wants to make sure that she's

justifying, especially going over what would be the sentencing guidelines, and something that she did when these arguments first began. Remember,

before we heard the victim impact statements, we heard arguments from the prosecutors and the defense attorneys about the pre-sentence memos.

And what the judge did very carefully in response to some of the arguments raised by the defense, she negated those. She said, look, there's case law

that goes against that. They talk about an offense variable.

That puts a calculation of certain years and points relating to what is appropriate in Michigan under those state guidelines. So, I do think that

she really did what she needed to do to put this in a situation where the ultimate, the sentence, is going to be justified from her perspective.

Now, again, think about it. It's 10 to 15 years. That means that they will have the opportunity for parole in 10. So, it's not as far off from that

seven-year maximum under the state guidelines at the end of the day. So, I do think that she did her best to make this bulletproof on appeal.

ASHER: It's interesting because she did say, listen, I'm not here to make an example out of both of you. That is not my aim. That's not my intention.

But it is my job to sort of make this a deterrent, right, to deter other people from -- other parents from this kind of neglect that could obviously

have huge consequences. And she did that.

Obviously, this case is unprecedented. It does set a new precedent when it comes to holding parents accountable for some of the crimes committed by

their children. Misty Marris, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you, Misty.

ASHER: All right, we'll be right back after this short break.



ASHER: All right, recapping our top story at this hour. The judge sentencing James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of Ethan Crumbly, to 10 to

15 years in prison, charged with involuntary manslaughter. Obviously, we've been talking about the precedence of this case and the fact that parents

are charged for the crimes committed by their son.

ASHER: I think one of the most touching things about what we saw this morning was really the victim impact statements, some of the things that

the parents of those whose lives were lost tragically snuffed out, some of the things that they said to the Crumbley parents here. For example, one

father saying, the blood of our children is on your hands.

The blood of our children is on your hands. I mean, these statements were so deeply impactful. Those words coming just before the sentencing, their

sentencing, rather, for involuntary manslaughter. That's because their teenage son, along with three others, killed tragically in November 2021.

GOLODRYGA: Before learning their fate, the parents of the victims addressed the Crumbleys directly, including the mother of Madison Baldwin.


NICOLE BEAUSOLEIL, MOTHER OF MADISYN BALDWIN: While you were hiding, I was planning her funeral. And while you were running away from your son and

your responsibilities, I was forced to do the worst possible thing a parent could do. I was forced to say goodbye to my Madisyn.


ASHER: Jean, that was a lot to take in. You know, anyone, any mother, anyone, actually, anyone listening to that. I mean, it was so deeply

moving. You know, I felt myself welling up just listening to that. Jean, just give us your take on how the victim impact statements would have

obviously influenced the judge and the outcome in terms of sentencing here.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the judge has to take them into consideration. And she did. She even referred to some of them as she was

pronouncing that sentence. But I found it so interesting that they were each different. And with Madisyn Baldwin's mother, it was a timeline. And

she was comparing, in that moment, before the shooting that day and after the shooting, what the parents, James and Jennifer Crumbly, were doing and

what she was doing. They were searching for a gun.

She was searching for her daughter to see if her daughter was alive. And just the emotion as she went through that, it was very difficult for

anyone, I think, to stay composed. And then as the other parents and the father of Tate Myre, talking about, and Justin Shilling's father talking

about how parents need to love their children and care about their children and be there and be the primary importance of their lives --their children.

And just really speaking to all parents, because this is being televised around the country today. And they were all so differently focused. And

then when Jennifer and James were begging for mercy before the judge, they were different.


Because Jennifer was really reciting the facts to show that she had no knowledge that her son was a good kid. She had no idea. James really going

into more emotion of the whole thing. But in the end, it was a distinction without a difference because 10 to 15 years for both of them, which is the

maximum for involuntary manslaughter in the state of Michigan.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and all of those testimonies, different, different in tone, different in nature. Parents, siblings testifying, all of them shared

one commonality, and that is that their lives have been devastated and completely changed and altered for the worse following the tragic and

untimely death of their loved ones, given that no matter what this sentence would bring, for Ethan's parents, pale in comparison to the pain that they

have endured.

ASHER: Madisyn's mother also saying, looking them squarely in the face and saying, listen, you failed as parents. You failed as parents. And obviously

this case, we're out of time now, Jean, but we can't get into it. But you know, this case obviously sets a new precedent just in terms of holding

parents accountable and responsible for the actions of their children.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Jean's been covering this case for us so well, all along. That does it for this hour of "One World." Thanks so much for watching. I'm

Bianna Golodryga.

ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher. Amanpour is up next.