Documentary gives insight on Crumbley prosecutors' thoughts before, during parents' trial

Kara Berg, The Detroit News on

Published in Entertainment News

DETROIT — The ABC News Studios documentary about the prosecution of James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of the Oxford High School shooter, is now available on Hulu, and while it delves into prosecutors' mindsets while charging and prosecuting the case, little previously unheard information was revealed.

The documentary began with a bird's-eye view of Oxford, then footage of the Crumbley's Oxford home overlaid with James' panicked 911 call from the day of the shooting.

“I have a missing gun at my house,” James said. “I have a missing gun and my son is at the school. … I don’t know if it was him, I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m really freaking out.”

ABC was granted "exclusive access" inside the prosecutor's office for over two years as staff members prepped for the trial, and the documentary includes never-before-seen comments from prosecutors about the case.

The criminal proceedings against James and Jennifer Crumbley were the first in the United States against parents of a school mass shooter for involuntary manslaughter.

Both Crumbleys were convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each of the four children who were killed Nov. 30, 2021, by the Crumbleys' son: Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17. They were sentenced April 9 to 10-15 years in prison, the maximum they could have received.


Shooter Ethan Crumbley was sentenced to life without parole, but has indicated he might appeal.

Prosecutor Karen McDonald, Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast and Chief Assistant Prosecutor David Williams were the three primary prosecutors on the case and were the three featured in the documentary.

McDonald said the thought that she could have put the community through both prosecutions and fail to win convictions was "almost too much to bear."

"This is terrible, this is torture," McDonald said about her feelings going into the trial. "This is I can't eat, sleep, I think I might throw up, awfulness."


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