Jennifer Crumbley trial: Michigan jury finds school shooter's mother guilty of involuntary manslaughter

 A Michigan jury Tuesday found Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in her landmark criminal trial.

Jennifer and her husband, James Crumbley, were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting that left four students dead and seven others injured.

James Crumbley is being tried separately. The Crumbleys are the first parents in American history to be prosecuted in a mass school shooting.

"As a parent, you spend your entire life protecting your child from other dangers," Jennifer Crumbley said while answering defense questions on the witness stand Thursday. "You would never think that you would have to protect your child from harming someone else. That's what blew my mind. The hardest thing for me was to see my child harm and kill other people."

His defense team argued that she did not know that her son was planning a school shooting and therefore should not be held responsible for Ethan's crimes.

Meanwhile, the prosecution argued that Ethan's multiple calls for help were ignored, and the then-15-year-old boy carried out the shooting using a gun that his parents had reportedly given him as a gift. I bought it for him.

"I wish he had killed us instead."

Jennifer's attorney Shannon Smith said that the prosecution "cherry-picked evidence" to charge Jennifer with involuntary manslaughter.

"It's clear that real life is messy and complicated. And during this trial, I will openly admit that I am a lawyer who messes up. ... I am a human being, and so is Mrs. Crumbly, and That's what this case is about. "He is not a perfect person or a perfect parent," Smith said in his closing statement.

Prosecutors suggested Jennifer should have stopped the shooting before it happened when she arrived at Oxford High to meet with school counselors after she was caught writing harassing notes to Ethan in class on the morning of November 30, 2021.

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His notes included a drawing of a gun and the phrases "Help me," "There's blood everywhere" and "My life sucks" as well as a handgun.

"You could have been with him," Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Keast said Friday.

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"Yes, I could do that," Jennifer Crumbley testified.

Ethan Crumbly pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism last year. He is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors allege that instead of taking their son home, Jennifer and her husband dropped him off at school and went about their days. Ethan later took a gun out of his bag and shot a total of 11 people, killing four of them.

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Prosecutors also said that Ethan Crumbly had made a 19-minute video the day before the shooting explaining what he was going to do at school the next day.

After the shooting, the Crumblys reportedly fled Oxford and went to Detroit after some initial questioning from police. U.S. Marshals eventually captured him a few days later, on December 4, 2021.

"As soon as this shooting became public and appeared in the newspapers, in the media, Jennifer Crumbly started telling a story, and then she ran. And she didn't just run because she was selfish. ... She ran, and she Started deleting text messages, and she started telling a different story because she knew she did something wrong," Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said in her closing statement Friday.

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