Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon here in my corner of west-central Florida on Saturday, December 4, 2021. It’s a lovely, mildly warm early winter day. The current temperature is 76˚F (25˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the south-southwest at 3 MPH and humidity at 49%, the feels-like temperature is 75˚F (24˚C). Today’s forecast: We can expect mostly cloudy skies and a high of 77˚F (25˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy and the low will be 53˚F (12˚C).
Today I woke up to the news that James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of alleged school shooter Ethan Crumbley, were arrested early this morning after an all-night search by Michigan and U.S. law enforcement agents. The elder Crumbleys were charged yesterday with four counts of involuntary manslaughter; earlier this week their 15-year-old son and high school sophomore shot and killed four of his fellow students at Oxford Senior High School and wounded seven other persons with a gun that his parents gave him as an early Christmas gift.
Per Fugitive Parents of Michigan School Shooter Ethan Crumbley Cry In Court As They Plead ‘Not Guilty’ To Involuntary Manslaughter Charges, by Crime Online’s Jonathan Anderson:
The couple was arrested early Saturday morning in the basement of a commercial building in Detroit near where their vehicle was located, hours after authorities had announced charges against the pair, according to the Detroit Free Press.
I heard about this case when the news broke about the shooting a few days ago – on Wednesday, I believe it was. And from the first details I gathered from various news sources, including the Associated Press, CNN, and a Jacksonville, Florida TV station’s website, I had a strong hunch that the Crumbley family is not exactly a clan that I’d want as neighbors.
First, they exercised poor parental judgment by buying a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun for Ethan, who at 15 is underage and can’t legally own a handgun in Michigan. What kind of parents go out on Black Friday to a gun store with a minor to buy him a pistol? Clearly, not law-abiding, responsible parents.
In a CBS News story by Zoe Christen-Jones, Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect have been charged, an employee of the Michigan gun store where James Crumbley purchased the firearm confirmed that Ethan was there with his dad.
At the Friday news conference, McDonald said James bought a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer pistol at Acme Shooting Goods in Oxford on November 26. A store employee confirmed to police Ethan was with James when the gun was purchased, she said, adding that social media posts from Jennifer referred to the gun as Ethan’s Christmas present.
When I read in various articles that Jennifer Crumbley had written an open letter to then-President Donald Trump in her now-deleted blog thanking him for protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights a few years ago, I was not surprised. The Crumbleys embody everything that is wrong with the American right: a mixture of anger, victimhood, entitlement, and disregard for laws and public safety.
As I said earlier, while I followed the reports that the elder Crumbleys had fled from their home, scrubbed their social media presence, and failed to appear for an arraignment scheduled for 2 PM yesterday, I perused different online news sites, including one for a Jacksonville TV station; James and Jennifer Crumbley had had run-ins with the law when they were Florida residents.
Per Jessica Barreto’s story,Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect have ties to Jacksonville area:
Public records show James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the Michigan school shooting suspect, lived in Jacksonville Beach and Atlantic Beach from the 1990′s through 2008.
Court records show both were arrested on DUI charges in 2005.
These are not exemplary citizens, Dear Reader.
They’re not exemplary parents, either.
I mean, not only did they facilitate the deadly shooting at Oxford High School by giving their 15-year-old son a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol for Christmas, but it looks as though they were running the fuck away, leaving their kid to fend for himself in jail.
Of course, the Crumbleys’ two attorneys, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman, claim that their clients were not running away.
Per Crime Online:
The couple’s attorneys issued a statement on Saturday morning before the hearing, according to the Free Press. That statement read:
“We understand that our clients were apprehended last night although we fully intended to turn them in first thing this morning for arraignment, contrary to the misinformation that has been rampant in the media,” it said. “Unfortunately, this case presents the most unimaginable tragedy for every single person involved, including every member of the community. While it’s human nature to want to find someone to blame or something to point to or something that gives us answers, the charges in this case are intended to make an example and send a message. The prosecution has very much cherry-picked and slanted specific facts to further their narrative to do that. We intend to fight this case in the courtroom and not in the court of public opinion. We know that in the end the entire story and truth will prevail.”
Obviously, it is a defense team’s obligation to spin things in favor of their clients, so I can’t condemn Smith and Lehman for doing their job as the Crumbleys’ lawyers. Still, it’s spin. And, even more important, you need to keep in mind that these two lawyers unsuccessfully defended Larry Nassar, the gymnastic team doctor who now rots in prison for sexually molesting girls who were members of the U.S Women’s Gymnastics Team.
The only thing that’s certain in the defense attorneys’ statement is that the full story will be revealed during the trial.
In other, less unsavory news….
My Blu-ray copy of West Side Story arrived this morning from Amazon. I had a feeling that I would get the Blu-ray – which turns out to not be the made-for-Canada “bilingual edition” Amazon said I had ordered but a U.S. edition – before noon. According to the tracking information I saw last night on Amazon, my package reached the distribution center that serves my Tampa Bay area neighborhood at 7:33 PM, so….yeah. I intuited that I’d get it in the morning rather than in the late afternoon.
I’ll probably watch West Side Story’s behind-the-scenes stuff first; I’ve seen the film itself a few times, but I’m up for watching the various “making of” documentaries on the second Blu-ray in this 50th Anniversary set. As a screenwriter and movie buff, I am a sucker for this kind of thing.
Well, I don’t have anything else to report, so I’ll sign off here. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect have been charged, Zoe Christen-Jones, CBS News, December 4, 2021