Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the teenager who killed four students at an Oxford, Michigan, high school in 2021, has been found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting.
CNN reports that the jury accepted the prosecution's argument that Crumbley, 45, was responsible for the deaths because she was “grossly negligent” in giving a gun to her son Ethan, who was 15 at the time, and failing to get him proper mental health treatment despite warning signs.
The case stemmed from a Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School, in which four students were killed and six students and a teacher were wounded.
Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty in 2022 to four counts of murder and other charges related to the deadly rampage. He was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole.
Attorneys for Jennifer Crumbley sought to lay the blame for the shooting on others: elsewhere: her husband for improperly securing the firearm; the school for failing to notify her about her son’s behavioral issues; and Ethan, who planned and carried out the attack on his own.
Crumbley’s husband, James, is scheduled to go on trial on the same charges in early March.
Prosecutors asserted that Jennifer Crumbley knew or should have known about Ethan’s deteriorating mental health issues. They also accused her of giving a gun to her son and improperly storing it.
The prosecution presented evidence of her inaction in a meeting with school employees the day of the shooting. That morning, a teacher found a drawing from Ethan showing a gun and a person bleeding along with the phrases “the thoughts won’t stop help me,” “blood everywhere” and “my life is useless.”
The Crumbleys were summoned to school for a meeting, and a school counselor testified he recommended the parents take their son home from school to get immediate mental health treatment.
The Crumbleys declined to do so that day because they didn’t want to miss work, the counselor testified, so the group agreed to keep Ethan in school for the rest of the day.