The mother of a school shooter has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a first-of-its-kind trial.
Prosecutors said Jennifer Crumbley, 43, was grossly negligent when she failed to tell Oxford High School in Michigan that the family had guns, including a 9 mm handgun that her son Ethan Crumbley used to kill four students.
Today, February 6, 2024, a jury found Jennifer Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Ethan Crumbley, 15 at the time, murdered four students and injured seven people, including a teacher, in a mass shooting on November 30, 2021. He pleaded guilty to all the charges against him on October 2022. On December 8, 2023, he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors in Jennifer’s case argued she had a duty under Michigan law to prevent her son from harming others. She was accused of failing to secure a gun and ammunition at home, and failing to get help for her son’s mental health.
“You’re the last adult to have possession of that gun,” assistant prosecutor Marc Keast said last week while cross-examining the mother. “You saw your son shoot the last practice round before the shooting on Nov 30. You saw how he stood… He knew how to use the gun.”
Jennifer replied: “Yes, he did.”
During their initial investigation, police found Ethan’s journal in which he said his parents wouldn’t listen to his pleas for help.
He wrote: “I have zero help for my mental problems and it’s causing me to shoot up the… school.”
Jennifer and Ethan’s father James Crumbley are the first parents in US history to be charged in relation to a mass school shooting committed by their child. James Crumbley, 47, is set to face trial in March.