(UnitedVoice.com) – On November 30, 2021, 15-year-old Ethan Robert Crumbley entered Oxford High School, shot and killed four students, and injured seven others, including a teacher, using a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. Michigan prosecutors later charged him as an adult, slapping him with 24 felonies, including murder and terrorism causing death. Eleven months later, he pleaded guilty, and a jury sentenced him to life without parole plus 24 years in December 2023.
However, that outcome didn’t end law enforcement efforts to provide justice to victims’ families. Prosecutors filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the defendant’s parents a few days after the school shooting for failing to secure the weapon their son used in the deadly school shooting. After a brief manhunt, US Marshalls arrested the couple in Detroit. After filing unsuccessful motions to reduce their bail, they have remained in pretrial detention on a half-million-dollar cash bond.
James Crumbley’s trial is set to begin on March 5, but jury selection started on January 23 for Jennifer Crumbley. The panel recently found her guilty as charged.
Jury Finds School Shooter’s Mother Guilty
On February 6, NPR reported that the jury found Mrs. Crumbley guilty on four involuntary manslaughter counts, one for each of the Oxford High students killed by her son. The media outlet noted that this case “is believed to be the first time” the parent of a shooter had been tried for manslaughter related to a mass shooting committed by their child.
Mrs. Crumbley reportedly revealed “little emotion” as she entered the courtroom with her lawyer. Court watchers said she held her head down as the jury foreman read the verdicts out loud.
Several of the victims’ family members attended the hearing. They could be seen reaching out to prosecutors, shaking their hands, and hugging them.
Prosecutors didn’t accuse Mrs. Crumbley of knowing that her son planned the 2021 shooting. Instead, they alleged that she and her husband failed to secure the handgun he used and ignored his mental health needs. For instance, prosecutors said the two parents ignored their son’s request to see a doctor after witnessing a demon throwing dishes around their house.
Prosecutors also alleged both parents declined to take him home the day of the attack after school officials confronted him about violent drawings they found in his possession.
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Shada explained in court filings that the elements of involuntary manslaughter are “well-defined […] definite and plain: gross negligence causing death.”
The court scheduled Crumbley’s sentencing hearing for April 9, where she faces up to 15 years imprisonment.
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