A jury has found Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of school shooter Ethan Crumbley, guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Ethan Crumbley killed four students during the deadly rampage at Michigan’s Oxford High School in November 2021.
The unprecedented trial resulted in Jennifer Crumbley becoming the first parent to be held criminally responsible for a mass shooting committed by their child.
BREAKING: A Michigan jury has found Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the Oxford High School shooter, guilty of all four counts of involuntary manslaughter. pic.twitter.com/8MqB0SW3Uh
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 6, 2024
ABC News reports:
Crumbley was found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting, one for each victim: Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Justin Shilling, 17; and Hana St. Juliana, 14.
The jury deliberated for roughly 11 hours, beginning on Monday morning. Sentencing is scheduled for April 9.Advertisement
Jennifer and James Crumbley are a rare case of parents being charged in connection with a shooting carried out by their son. James Crumbley, who also faces four counts of involuntary manslaughter, will have a separate trial in March.
The jury foreperson told an ABC News producer as she was walking to her car that the verdict “came down to the fact that Jennifer was the last adult with the gun.”
BREAKING: Jury Holds Parent Responsible for School Shooting
In meeting, Crumbley never told school officials son had access to gun he drew in "blood" pix
"The thing that really hammered it home was that she was the last adult with the gun," a juror saidhttps://t.co/Z6J1HfpY1u
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) February 7, 2024
NBC News added:
Crumbley, 45, was convicted on all four counts of involuntary manslaughter — one for each of the victims in the attack at Oxford High School in November 2021 — that she faced.
Her son, Ethan, now 17, pleaded guilty as an adult to murder, terrorism and other crimes and was sentenced in December to life in prison without parole.
Now, she faces up to 15 years in prison per count and remains held on bond. She will be sentenced April 9.
“It was very difficult,” a member of the jury said after the verdict. “Lives hung in the balance, and we took that very seriously.”
The juror said the decision hinged in large part on who was the last adult to handle the weapon.
There were a variety of reactions to the verdict on social media.
One X user shared a text message of someone considering the precedent set in the case.
An example of some things parents are worried about with the Jennifer Crumbley verdict.
Got this text this morning. pic.twitter.com/YLTJtp1Hgh
— iCkEdMeL ☀🔎🔥 (@iCkEdMeL) February 7, 2024
Other X users commented that Jennifer Crumbley ignored the warning signs of her son being mentally ill.
The right outcome. She ignored the warning signs and allowed her son continued gun access: Jennifer Crumbley, mother of Ethan Crumbley, found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in son’s school shooting https://t.co/9gUmRvNTcm via @nbcnews
— Frank Figliuzzi (@FrankFigliuzzi1) February 6, 2024
Collin Rugg writes:
Jennifer Crumbley found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after her son Ethan went on a shooting rampage at school, killing four people.
Prosecutors said Jennifer was a negligent mother & revealed how she was having an affair with a fire captain & would recruit strangers for hotel s*x parties.
She is facing up to 60 years in prison and will be sentenced in April. Her husband James will stand trial in March.
Jennifer Crumbley ignored her son who had clear mental problems and wanted help.
“My parents won’t listen to me about help or therapist,” a journal entry from Ethan read.
“I have zero help for my mental problems and it’s causing me to shoot up the f***ing school,” another read.
Sometime before the school shooting, Ethan texted his mom, saying he was being chased by a demon and thought it was throwing things at him from across the room.
Jennifer Crumbley didn’t even text him back.Advertisement
“At least text me back…” he said when she didn’t respond.
Ethan Crumbley is serving a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole.
NEW: Jennifer Crumbley found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after her son Ethan went on a shooting rampage at school, killing four people.
Prosecutors said Jennifer was a negligent mother & revealed how she was having an affair with a fire captain & would recruit strangers… pic.twitter.com/TDoQPntjSE
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) February 6, 2024
More from Fox News:
Her defense team argued that she did not know her son was planning a school shooting and therefore shouldn’t be held accountable for Ethan’s crimes.
Meanwhile, the prosecution argued that Ethan’s many cries for help went ignored and that the then-15-year-old carried out the shooting using the gun his parents allegedly purchased for him as a gift.
Jennifer’s attorney, Shannon Smith, said the prosecution “cherry-picked evidence” to accuse Jennifer of involuntary manslaughter.
“It’s obvious real life is messy and complicated. And during this trial, I will openly admit that I’m a lawyer who messes up. … I am a human being, and so is Mrs. Crumbley, and that’s what this case is about. She’s not a perfect person or a perfect parent,” Smith said in her closing statements.
Smith added that the shooting “was clearly not foreseeable to Mrs. Crumbley.”
Prosecutors suggested Jennifer could have stopped the shooting before it happened when she arrived at Oxford High on the morning of Nov. 30, 2021, to meet with school counselors after Ethan was caught scrawling disturbing notes in class.
His notes included an image of a gun and the phrases “Help me,” “Blood everywhere” and “My life is useless,” along with a drawing of a gun.