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James Crumbley, Father of Michigan School Shooter, Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter Weeks After His Wife's Trial

Prosecutors argued that James and his wife, Jennifer, did nothing to prevent the shooting in which four students were killed

<p>Bill Pugliano/Getty</p> James Crumbley

Bill Pugliano/Getty

James Crumbley

James Crumbley, the father of convicted Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, has been found guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter — a decision that comes just weeks after his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, was convicted on similar counts. James faces up to 15 years in prison.

James and Jennifer's son killed four students at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., in November 2021, and injured seven others. The deceased victims of the shootings were Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, Justin Shilling, 17, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17.

The jury was unanimous in their decision to hold James accountable for the shooter's actions, with prosecutors arguing he and his wife did nothing to prevent the shooting, according to CNN.

In a statement provided to PEOPLE, the attorney for the victims' families said, "Today, a 12-person jury unanimously found James Crumbley, the father of the Oxford High School shooter, guilty as charged for his gross negligence, which ultimately played a causal role in the deaths of four OHS students. This guilty verdict, along with those found against the shooter's mother, Jennifer Crumbley, won't bring back the lives of these four students, but it represents one more step towards holding everyone responsible accountable under the law, which is justice for the victims' families and the Oxford community."

Related: Mich. School Shooter's Mother, Now on Trial for Manslaughter, Asked Him 'Why? Why?' Hours After Attack

Continued attorney Ven Johnson, "We are eager for the decisions of both the Michigan Court of Appeals and the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in our civil lawsuits. We are resolute in our determination to hold Oxford Community Schools and various OCS employees accountable, as they could have prevented the shooting, as indicated in their own district's Guidepost Solutions investigative report. Until everyone responsible for this tragedy is fully and legally held accountable for their role, our clients and our firm remain steadfast in our fight for justice."

An attorney for James did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Related: Mother of Mich. School Shooter Takes Stand at Her Manslaughter Trial, Wishes He Had 'Killed Us Instead'

During the trial, prosecutors said the gun the shooter used during the shooting was purchased for him by his parents as an early Christmas present just days before. According to CNN, prosecutors argued that James failed to properly secure the gun, a 9mm pistol, and ignored his son's mental health struggles.

<p>JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images</p> James Crumbley

JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

James Crumbley

Further, prosecutors highlighted that the Crumbleys were at the school the morning of the shooting for a meeting regarding a drawing of a gun the shooter made on a math worksheet. The meeting ended abruptly, and James did not tell school officials that their son had a gun, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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Jennifer's trial was held earlier this year, and she too, was found guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each of the victims. Jennifer will be sentenced on April 9.

Speaking further to PEOPLE, attorney Johnson said that the victims' families are "confident the judge will do the right thing" in sentencing both James and Jennifer, and while hoping for maximum sentences, they "will live with" whatever decision the judge makes.

"If there's one thing that I think we can all agree on, that is this has got to stop, but it's only going to stop if we make it stop," said Johnson when asked about how the Crumbleys' outcome will shape future similar cases. He continued, "We're going to look at what really went wrong here and could this be avoided?"

Last year, Ethan was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to 24 charges, according to the New York Times.

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