Andrew McCabe: Charges Against Crumbleys ‘Unprecedented’


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNN’s Ana Cabrera that he was “stunned” that the prosecutor filed charges against the accused Michigan school shooter’s parents, calling it an “unprecedented” move, but one that was “absolutely called for” in order to combat gun violence.

Fifteen year-old Ethan Crumbley was charged as an adult with one count of terrorism, 4 counts of first degree murder, 7 counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm for his alleged actions during a Nov. 30 shooting at his high school, killing 4 people and injuring 8. He was arrested in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald cited a “mountain of evidence” that she said supported their legal argument that the killing was premeditated.

Revelations about what Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, may have known before the shooting began to be reported, including the fact that they had met with school officials about their son’s disturbing behavior the morning of the shooting, a teacher leaving a voicemail for Jennifer Crumbley reporting that Ethan had searched for information about ammunition on his cell phone, and violent drawings Ethan had made.

McDonald soon announced four charges of involuntary manslaughter against James and Jennifer Crumbley, citing the multiple warnings about Ethan’s behavior, the fact that the parents purchased the handgun for Ethan, and text messages Jennifer had sent to her son.

After an update on the case from Shimon Prokupecz Friday afternoon, Cabrera asked McCabe for his reaction to charges being filed against the parents.

“I was stunned when I heard that they were leaning in that direction because it’s so exceedingly rare,” said McCabe, commenting that even in the few states that have laws that specifically cover these types of crimes, “really no one ever gets prosecuted.”

However, he continued, the facts in this case as described by the prosecutor in her press conference were “absolutely stunning.” There was “literally a mountain of evidence upon which to proceed with these very serious charges,” and what we knew so far was probably “just a sample of what they have so far.”

“It’s incredible and it’s absolutely called for,” stated McCabe, “and I think it maybe is just the sort of thing we need to attract attention to this epidemic of school violence.”

Cabrera played a clip of McDonald’s press conference and asked McCabe to assess the strength of her case against the parents.

“This is an unprecedented prosecution, and proving criminally negligent or reckless homicide is tough under any circumstances,” but he couldn’t imagine “a better perfect storm collection of fact and evidence to potentially hold these parents responsible.”

It was a “real possibility” that the parents could be convicted, he said, noting the “damning pieces of evidence” from Jennifer Crumbley’s text messages to her son.

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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