Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the teenager who killed four students in a shooting at a high school in Oxford, Michigan, in 2021, was found guilty this Tuesday of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. The case is attracting attention in USA since he is the first person to be considered responsible for the action committed by a minor child.
Crumbley, 45, had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. But the jury, made up of 12 people, found her guilty unanimously. She will receive her sentence on April 9. She could go up to 15 years in prison.
Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek consecutive sentences for the four convictionswhich could mean a maximum of 60 years if Judge Cheryl Matthews agrees.
It is planned that James Crumbleythe husband of Jenniferwill be tried on the same charges in early March.
This is the story.
The Ethan Crumbley Shooting
On November 30, 2021, Ethan Crumbleywhich then had 15 yearsentered the armed oxford school and murdered four students and injured six other students and a teacher.
Hours before the attack, a school teacher discovered a drawing of Ethan in which appeared a gun and a person bleeding along with the phrases “the thoughts don’t stop, help me”“blood everywhere” and “my life is worthless.”
The parents of the minor were summoned to the school for a meeting, and a school counselor testified that they were advised to take their son home to receive immediate mental health treatment.
In accordance with cnn, The Crumbleys refused to take their son that day because they didn’t want to miss work. Then, the school authorities agreed to keep Ethan at school for the rest of the day.
Hours later, Ethan took a gun out of his backpack. and shot his victims. No one had checked her backpack.
In the meeting with the school authorities, the Crumbley They didn’t mention that they had just bought a gun from Ethan nor did they tell about previous texts he had written that were similar to those discovered that morning.
“Just the smallest of things could have saved, could have helped Hana and Tate and Madisyn and Justin,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald in Friday’s closing arguments on the fatalities of Ethan. “Just the smallest of things. And not only did she not do it, but she doesn’t even regret it,” she continued when confronting Jennifer.
After the shooting, Ethan was arrestedpleaded guilty to a crime of terrorismfour counts of murder and 19 other charges related to the slaughter. He was later tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison.
The unprecedented accusation against the Crumbleys
Four days before the shooting, James Crumbley bought and gave Ethan a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol.the same one he ended up using in the shooting.
That same weekend, Jennifer Crumbley He had taken his son to practice at a shooting range.
The Prosecutor’s Office Michigan He ended up accusing both of them of their negligent conduct. At trial, prosecutors argued that Jennifer Crumbley he had a duty under state law to prevent his minor son from causing harm to others.
She also should have gotten him proper treatment for mental health due to warning signs.
According to CNN, prosecutors tried to present her as a distracted motherwho was more interested in her horses and her extramarital relationship than in the well-being of her son.
Already at the trial, the jury saw images of Jennifer Crumbley leaving the shooting range with the gun in a box, the AP agency reported.
“You saw your son shoot the last practice round before the shooting (at school) on November 30. You saw how she stood up… He knew how to use the gun“said the deputy prosecutor Marc Keast while questioning the mother last week.
In her closing argument Friday, the prosecutor mcdonald explained that he filed unprecedented charges due to the “unique and atrocious” facts that led to the slaughter at school.
Meanwhile, school officials insisted that they would not have agreed to keep Ethan Crumbley at school that day if the parents had shared information about the new weaponwhich the boy called on social media his “beauty”.
During the trial, Jennifer Crumbley He had the opportunity to defend himself. He said he saw no signs of mental anguish in his son and stated that he does not regret his actions.
“I’ve asked myself if I would have done anything differently, and I wouldn’t have. I wish he had killed us,” she declared.
However, according to the AP agency, the police found in a newspaper of Ethan that the minor wrote that his parents did not listen to his pleas for help.
Prosecutors presented evidence that Ethan Crumbley texted his mother in the spring of 2021 about “demons” throwing bowls and other hallucinations. But she told the jury that she was “just Ethan joking”.
The minor also sent a text message to a friend in which he told him that he had told his parents about the hallucinations and asked them for help, but his mother laughed at him.
According to CNN, Jennifer’s defense argued that it was someone else’s fault.: from her husband for not keeping the weapon of fire; from the school for not notifying him of his son’s behavioral problems; and of his own Ethanwho planned and carried out the attack on his own.
For her part, defense attorney Shannon Smith said that The case was “dangerous” for parents around the world.
“Can all parents really be responsible for everything their children do, especially when it is not foreseeable?” Smith said in his closing argument.
Ethan did not testify at his mother’s trialsince his lawyers said that he would avail himself of his right to silence contained in the Fifth Amendment.