Feb 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Michigan school shooter’s mother found guilty of involuntary manslaughter

Jennifer Crumbley, 43, the mother of accused Oxford High School gunman Ethan Crumbley exits the courtroom of Oakland County Court in Pontiac, Michigan during a break in her trial

Jennifer Crumbley exits the courtroom in Pontiac, Michigan on Feb. 2. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

The mother of a convicted Michigan school shooter was convicted on Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter.

Why it matters: Jennifer Crumbley is the first parent in the U.S. to be held criminally responsible after their child carried out a mass shooting.

  • The maximum penalty for involuntary manslaughter in Michigan is 15 years in prison.
  • Jennifer Crumbley had been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Catch up fast: Her son, Ethan Crumbley, 17, killed four students and wounded seven others in a 2021 shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland County, Michigan.

  • He pleaded guilty to all charges in 2022 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole last December.
  • His parents each pleaded not guilty in 2021 to four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Both parents have been in jail for over two years while awaiting trial because they could not afford bond.
  • His father, James Crumbley, is scheduled to go to trial on March 5, per CNN.

Details: Jennifer Crumbley's trial began last month. Prosecutors argued that she was "grossly negligent" in giving her then-15-year-old son a gun and ignoring his mental health needs, CNN reported.

  • The defense argued that Ethan Crumbley was a "skilled manipulator" without mental illness, AP reported. It also argued that James Crumbley was responsible for storing the gun that Ethan Crumbley used to carry out the shooting.
  • "I've asked myself if I would have done anything differently, and I wouldn't have," Jennifer Crumbley testified during the trial, per CNN.

Zoom in: Days before the shooting, school administrators contacted Crumbley's parents after a teacher caught Ethan searching for ammunition on his phone during class.

  • On the day of the shooting, a teacher found a drawing by Ethan with a figure of a gun and a person who was shot. His parents were contacted again and advised to take their son home, which they declined to do.
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