Jennifer Crumbley the mother of school shooter Ethan Crumbley has been convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter
According to court documents Jennifer Crumbley failed to act when she saw the warning signs that her teenage son was planning a school shooting. Ethan Crumbley would go to the Oxford school where he would shoot and kill four fellow students. Jennifer Crumbley husband will stand trial in March facing the same charges
This is the first time in American history where a parent has been charged and convicted for a charge related to the crime their child committed
Jennifer Crumbley will be sentenced at a later date where she faces up to fifteen years in prison
Jennifer Crumbley News
A jury convicted a woman of involuntary manslaughter and determined she bore responsibility for her son’s actions when he fatally shot four students and injured several others at his high school in November 2021.
The Detroit Free Press reports Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty Feb. 6 on four counts of involuntary manslaughter, marking an unprecedented moment in history because this is the first time a parent has been convicted and held criminally responsible after their child committed a school shooting.
Crumbley’s husband, James Crumbley, will stand trial in March for the same charges. The four counts of manslaughter relate to the deaths of 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, and 17-year-old Justin Schilling.
Ethan Crumbley, 17, pleaded guilty in October 2022 to murder, terrorism, and other charges, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. It also marked the first time someone was convicted of terrorism for committing a school shooting, according to the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
On Nov. 30, 2021, at 12:51 p.m., the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an active shooter incident at Oxford High School. The dispatch center fielded more than 100 calls during the course of the shooting. Multiple people, including a teacher, were injured. The sheriff’s office took Crumbley, who was 15 years old at the time, into custody and recovered a handgun.
In an update, the sheriff’s office said investigators executed a search warrant at the Crumbley house and located a 9 mm Sig Sauer, which James Crumbley purchased just days before the shooting.
According to WDIV-TV, Jennifer Crumbley testified at her own trial and said it was James Crumbley’s responsibility to lock and store the gun, which was kept in their bedroom. James Crumbley reportedly bought the gun for his son as an early Christmas present.
The Detroit Free Press reports Jennifer and James Crumbley were called to the school the day of the shooting because a teacher found a drawing on Ethan Crumbley’s desk of someone who looked like they had been shot. The note reportedly said, “The thoughts won’t stop.” Ethan Crumbley was ultimately sent back to his classroom, but officials did not check his backpack for any firearms.
The school administrators reportedly urged James and Jennifer Crumbley to take their son out of school, but they “resisted the idea.”
Ethan Crumbley reportedly wrote a manifesto prior to the shooting and said in a journal he “will cause the largest school shooting in the state,” adding, “I will surrender to the police. I wish to hear the screams of the children as I shoot them.”
He reportedly also wrote, “I have fully mentally lost it after years of fighting my dark side. My parents won’t listen to me about help or a therapist.”
The Associated Press reports Jennifer Crumbley took her son to a shooting range just days before the mass shooting.
Prosecutors argued at the trial that Ethan Crumbley texted her in spring 2021 that he was having hallucinations about “demons.” Jennifer Crumbley reportedly said she thought the messages were “just Ethan messing around.”
She testified, “I have asked myself if I would have done anything differently. I wouldn’t have. I wish he would have killed us instead.”
Craig Schilling, whose son Justin died in the shooting, said following the verdict, “The cries have been heard, and I feel this verdict is gonna echo throughout every household in the country.”
Jennifer Crumbley faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and will be sentenced April 9.
Jennifer Crumbley More News
A jury found Jennifer Crumbley guilty of manslaughter after her son killed four students at a Michigan high school in 2021. The shooter’s father, James Crumbley, is set to go to trial next month.
There have been several other cases in which parents were charged for shootings carried out by their children, though not one in a school mass shooting.
For example, the father of the July 4 mass shooter in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, was accused of wrongdoing for signing his son’s application for an Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card months after his son displayed concerning behavior. The father, Robert Crimo Jr., ultimately pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless conduct charges and agreed to serve 60 days in jail.
In a similar vein, the mother of a 6-year-old boy who shot his teacher at a Virginia school last year faced charges. The boy’s mother ultimately pleaded guilty to a state child neglect charge and felony charges of unlawful use of a controlled substance while possessing a firearm and making a false statement while purchasing a firearm.
But, the level of severity in the case of the Crumbleys is different. In a written opinion filed last March, a panel of judges for the state’s appellate court acknowledged the possible precedent-setting nature of these cases but called the situation unique and unusual.
Joey Jackson, a CNN legal analyst, said the prosecution’s broad goal in bringing these cases was to deter other parents.