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Jennifer Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter after son Ethan Crumbley's school shooting, jury finds

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  29 comments

By:   Selina Guevara and Erik Ortiz

Jennifer Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter after son Ethan Crumbley's school shooting, jury finds
Jurors weighed the fate of Crumbley, the mother of teenage school shooter Ethan Crumbley, after a week of testimony in her involuntary manslaughter trial.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


PONTIAC, Mich. — Jennifer Crumbley, the Michigan woman charged in connection with her son's deadly school shooting rampage in 2021, was convicted Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter in the unprecedented case.

The unanimous verdict came on the second day of jury deliberations in a landmark trial in which Crumbley became the first parent to be held criminally responsible for a mass shooting committed by their child.

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.

"The thing that really hammered it home was that she was the last adult with the gun," the juror said.

Craig Shilling, the father of Justin Shilling, 17, one of the four victims in the school shooting, teared up when the verdict was announced. He later hugged Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald and members of her team and shook the hands of law enforcement officers who testified.

"We have been asking for accountability across the board, and this is one step towards that," Shilling said outside the courtroom. "I feel that moving forward is not going to be any easier because of what we left behind, but it gives us hope for a brighter future."

The trial, which opened Jan. 25 in an Oakland County courtroom, hit at themes of good parenting and gun safety, and it has come at a consequential moment in the U.S. when a drumbeat of school shootings have roiled communities like Uvalde, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Perry, Iowa.

In an effort to determine to what extent a parent should be held accountable for the actions of their child, jurors in Oakland County examined more than 400 pieces of evidence, including text messages and photos from Crumbley's cellphone, and dramatic video of the shooting spree, which left many in the courtroom visibly shaken.

The prosecution called more than 20 witnesses, including law enforcement officials and school staff members, while the defense brought in just one: the defendant.

To prove its case, the prosecution tried to portray Crumbley as a neglectful mother who cared more about her hobbies and carrying on an extramarital affair than about spending time with her son. Then, when she and her husband gave their son a semi-automatic handgun as a gift in the days before the shooting, prosecutors said, neither of them properly stored it.

On the day of the shooting, after the Crumbleys had been summoned to the school because of a disturbing drawing of a gun made by their son, the parents didn't tell school officials he had access to a weapon or take him home.

Ethan Crumbly would go on to kill four students: Justin Shilling; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Hana St. Juliana, 14.

Crumbley's defense lawyer, Shannon Smith, suggested that it was James Crumbley who was specifically in charge of storing the weapon and that the school knew Ethan was having trouble paying attention in classes but didn't fully inform Jennifer Crumbley.

Smith had asked the jury in her closing argument to acquit her client, "not just for Jennifer Crumbley, but for every mother who's out there doing the best they can, who could easily be in her shoes."

James Crumbley, 47, is expected to stand trial next month on the same involuntary manslaughter charges. The judge in Crumbley's trial imposed a gag order that prevents the prosecution and the defense from speaking publicly until after his trial.

Jennifer Crumbley took the stand in her own defense. She testified that her son was generally worried about his future after high school and was "depressed" but that his mental health never alarmed her enough that she felt he needed to see a professional.

She acknowledged that she could have taken him home on the day of the shooting but said she also didn't believe he was capable of committing such violence. More than two years after the shooting, she told the jury she "wouldn't have" done anything differently.

"I don't think I'm a failure as a parent," she said.

Craig Shilling said the jury's decision shows how important it is for parents to be mindful of their children's needs.

"Do your due diligence with your child," he said. "You cannot choose to take your own interest over your child, especially when it comes to mental health."

Gun safety groups echoed that the verdict is a warning that parents can be held responsible.

"Plain and simple, the deadly shooting at Oxford High School in 2021 should have — and could have — been prevented had the Crumbley's not acquired a gun for their 15-year-old son," Nick Suplina, senior vice president for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement. "This decision is an important step forward in ensuring accountability and, hopefully, preventing future tragedies."


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

This may be a very dangerous precedent.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago

Yes, what it might actually do is make people realize that there is a reason for the red flag laws and might even cause a drop in mentally ill people shooting others, so it is very dangerous indeed.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1    3 weeks ago

I agree, Buzz. This may finally be the thing that I dunno...helps?

Her kid asked her to get him help. She didn't even bother to get him from school that day when the school asked her to.

She's a real mother of the year. The father may as well plead guilty instead of costing the taxpayers a trial

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.1    3 weeks ago
Her kid asked her to get him help.

... she bought him a gun and a maga hat.

She's a real mother of the year.

2 more trump voters purged from the november voter list, so far...

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago

Sadly, the real danger that such a precedent could and would cause will float gently over the heads of those whose critical thinking skills are lacking.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Professor Silent
1.2.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    3 weeks ago

So...  You are opposed to holding parents responsible for securing their children's firearms?

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.2.2  Greg Jones  replied to  SteevieGee @1.2.1    3 weeks ago

jrSmiley_51_smiley_image.gif No Steeviegee, I am not opposed to holding parents responsible for securing their children's FIREARMS!  jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

  And you just proved the subtle point I was attempting to point out by my sarcasm.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Professor Silent
1.2.3  SteevieGee  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.2    3 weeks ago

I asked a simple question.  You said there's a "real danger that such a precedent would cause".  No need to be mean.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    3 weeks ago

Good! Arming your kids makes you responsible!

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.1  Ronin2  replied to  JBB @2    3 weeks ago

Try again.

I know many people whose parents trained them to shoot as soon as they could hold a gun. None of them have ever murdered anyone. Most are now avid hunters. Many served in the military.

Kids need supervision- something this teen was sorely lacking.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
3  Jeremy Retired in NC    3 weeks ago

At some point the parents have to be held responsible.  

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Junior Guide
4  Right Down the Center    3 weeks ago

Take it a step farther.  Does this mean the parents of a 15 year old that hijacked a car by gun point will be held responsible for their kids crime?

 
 
 
goose is back
Sophomore Silent
4.1  goose is back  replied to  Right Down the Center @4    3 weeks ago
Does this mean the parents of a 15 year old that hijacked a car by gun point will be held responsible

The short answer would be, NO. However if it's found that the parents knew and encouraged carjacking, could be different.  Parents need to be parents and stop trying  to be their kids best friend.   Boundaries and guard rails are a good thing.   

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Junior Guide
4.1.1  Right Down the Center  replied to  goose is back @4.1    3 weeks ago
Boundaries and guard rails are a good thing.   

Like knowing where there 14 year old is after midnight.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
4.2  charger 383  replied to  Right Down the Center @4    3 weeks ago

Yes, would reduce crime committed by juveniles                

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Professor Silent
4.3  SteevieGee  replied to  Right Down the Center @4    3 weeks ago

If they bought him the gun and didn't keep it secure?  Yes.  It's called responsible gun ownership.  All my guns are secure even though I no longer have kids in the house.  The combo for the Crumbleys' gun safe is 0000.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
5  charger 383    3 weeks ago

This is why some people should not have children

 
 
 
George
Sophomore Guide
6  George    3 weeks ago

Every single parent who has a child in a gang should be quaking in their boots. Every parent of a gang member needs to be charged with RICO statutes.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
6.1  Greg Jones  replied to  George @6    3 weeks ago

After all, once a precedent is set, lawyers will be going after parents for all kinds of bad shit their kids do or get into, not just firearms.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
6.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Greg Jones @6.1    3 weeks ago

Leftists will freak the first time a parent (especially a minority) of a gang member is charged.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Ronin2 @6.1.1    3 weeks ago
Leftists will freak the first time a parent (especially a minority) of a gang member is charged.

I think some victims' parents are contemplating some lawsuits now.  Unfortunately most of the gang members or their parents have any real money.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
6.1.3  JBB  replied to  Ronin2 @6.1.1    3 weeks ago

Not if the parent gave their gangster kid a gun and ammo and ignored warnings!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
6.1.4  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @6.1.2    3 weeks ago

Money? This was criminal manslaughter!

That bish is going to The Big Doll House...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @6.1.4    3 weeks ago
Money? This was criminal manslaughter! That bish is going to The Big Doll House...

Can you just read what I actually wrote?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
7  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

The parents declined to take the kid home from school that day, even though they were told that he had made violent doodlings on a math quiz that morning.  If he was from a gunless family MAYBE that would be slightly excusable, but the parents knew they had recently bought him a gun. 

This thing was a failure all the way around. 

The mother comes off as someone who didnt want to be bothered , and the school doesnt look much better. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
8  Sparty On    3 weeks ago

This is a simple case of horrible parenting

[deleted]

Another Pandora’s box ripped wide open …… 

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
8.1  Sparty On  replied to  Sparty On @8    3 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
George
Sophomore Guide
8.1.1  George  replied to  Sparty On @8.1    3 weeks ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
9  Thomas    2 weeks ago

So this woman gets convicted of not watching her child enough, yet America seems poised to re-elect a known all around bad person (Trump) to the office of President so that he can enact his "Retributions"...

Hello? Is there anyone at home..?

 
 

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