A jury has found he mother of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting deaths of four students at Oxford High School in November 2021. Jennifer 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, and Crumbley will be sentenced on April 9; the verdict marks the first time in U.S. history that a parent has been held legally accountable for a shooting committed by their child. Jennifer and her husband James Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting carried out by their son, Ethan, who was 15 years old at the time of the shooting. Ethan has been sentenced to life in prison for killing four students and injuring seven others at Oxford High School. He had pleaded guilty to 24 charges, including first-degree premeditated murder and terrorism causing death. The trial for James Crumbley is scheduled to begin on March 5.
Prosecutors presented evidence against Crumbleys, who purchased the gun used in the shooting and failed to respond to warning signs exhibited by their son prior to the attack. School officials had called the Crumbley parents to the school the morning of the shooting after finding violent drawings he had done on a school assignment; Ethan Crumbley was also caught searching online for bullets at school, watching shooting videos in class and drawing violent images on several other papers. School officials testified that the parents chose not to take their son home despite the school telling them to get him immediate help, and offering them facilities that provided same-day mental health care services. The parents told the school they could not take him home because they both had to return to work, and school officials did not think it was a good idea for Ethan to be alone since they were concerned he was considering suicide.
In text messages she sent after the shooting Jennifer Crumbley told the man she was having an affair with, Brian Meloche, that the shooting “could have been prevented” and that the school should not have allowed him to return to class. . Prosecutors argued that the parents did not secure the gun or limit their son’s access to it; the parents purchased the gun used in the shooting as a gift and had taken Ethan to the shooting range before the attack.
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