Jennifer Crumbley is the first parent in America convicted in a mass school shooting carried out by their own child

Jennifer Crumbley is the first parent in America convicted in a mass school shooting carried out by their own child
Jennifer Crumbley testifies on the stand in an Oakland County courtroom on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Pontiac, Mich.
Jennifer Crumbley found guilty.Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press via AP, Pool
  • A verdict was reached in the trial of the mother of the Oxford, Michigan, school shooter.

  • Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty for her son's deadly 2021 rampage that left four students dead.

  • The verdict follows a more than week-long unprecedented trial.

The mother of the teenage mass shooter who killed four classmates at his Michigan, high school more than two years ago has been found guilty for her son's murderous rampage following a-first-of-its-kind trial.

A Michigan jury on Tuesday found Jennifer Crumbley guilty of all four counts of involuntary manslaughter charges in the deaths of the four students gunned down by her then-15-year-old son at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021.

Jennifer Crumbley, along with her husband James Crumbley, were charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the massacre, making them the first parents in America to face charges for a mass school shooting carried out by their own child. James Crumbley is set to stand trial for the charges next month.

Tuesday's verdict follows a more than week-long unprecedented trial in which prosecutors accused the Crumbleys of making a firearm too easily accessible to their son, now 17, and ignoring warning signs related to his mental health before the rampage that also left seven others injured.

Prosecutors painted Jennifer Crumbley as an unaware and negligent mother who was consumed with an extramarital affair. They alleged that she had several opportunities, including on the morning of the shooting, to try and prevent the deadly attack.

Hours before the teen shooter pulled a 9mm handgun from his backpack and opened fire, the Crumbleys were called to Oxford High School for an emergency meeting where they were shown a math worksheet on which their son scrawled disturbing messages, including "Blood Everywhere," and "The thoughts won't stop, help me."

The teen — who pleaded guilty to all charges against him in 2022 and is currently serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole — also drew a handgun, a bullet, and a depiction of a person bleeding on the worksheet.

Prosecutors told jurors that Jennifer Crumbley "abruptly" ended the meeting after just 11 minutes and the parents did not take their son home.

"She could've taken him home. She could have taken him to work," Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said in her closing arguments against Jennifer Crumbley, adding, "She could've told the school that they just gifted him a gun."

The "smallest" of measures, McDonald told the jury, could have saved the lives of 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre, and 17-year-olds Justin Shilling and Madisyn Baldwin.

Booking photos of James and Jennifer Crumbley.
Booking photos of James and Jennifer Crumbley.Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

The historic trial saw Jennifer Crumbley take the stand in her own defense

Jennifer Crumbley took the stand in her own defense during the historic trial, and put the blame on her husband for their son's accessibility to the weapon that the teen used in the school shooting.

"I just didn't feel comfortable being in charge of that. It was more his thing, so I let him handle that," Jennifer Crumbley told jurors of her husband, explaining that he bought the gun for their son on Black Friday as an early Christmas present.

The mother told the jury she wished their son "would have killed us instead."

In her closing arguments, Jennifer Crumbley's defense attorney, Shannon Smith, told jurors that the mother could have never foreseen the attack by her son.

"This case is a very dangerous one for parents out there. It just is. And it is one of the first of its kind," Smith said.

"This case does nothing for the people who have already lost everything," said Smith, who added, "And it does nothing to bring back the tragedy and the tragedy that unfolded on November 30."

Jennifer Crumbley's boss was one of the nearly two dozen witnesses to testify during the trial. He told jurors that the mom seemed mostly concerned with her job security on the day of the shooting and asked him for lawyer recommendations.

"I need my job. Please don't judge me for what my son did," Jennifer Crumbley said in a text message amid the shooting, said Andrew Smith, the COO of a real-estate company where Jennifer Crumbley worked.

Smith testified, "I was surprised by that text."

"I was surprised that she was worried about her job at that time. I thought she would have been more worried about what was going on," he told the court.

Jennifer and James Crumbley originally planned to stand trial together, but requested separate trials after prosecutors said in court filings that Jennifer blamed her husband for the shooting.

Read the original article on Business Insider