Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty of four counts of man*slaughter Tuesday — the first parent in the US to be charged over a mass school sho*oting committed by their child.
Crumbley, a 45-year-old marketing director, was convicted over her role in the Nov. 30, 2021, mass sho*oting carried out by her son, Ethan Crumbley, at Oxford High School that left four students dea*d alongside six others and a teacher wounded.
The 12-person jury, made up of six men and six women, reached its decision in Oxford, Michigan, on Tuesday after 10 hours of weighing the case.
After the verdict was read, the judge thanked the jurors for their work in “the hardest things you’ve ever done.”
After the verdict was delivered, Crumbley was placed in cuffs and escorted out of the courtroom by two police officers.
James Crumbley, Ethan’s father, will be tried on the same charges separately at a later date. He has also pleaded not guilty.
The jury was left with significant evidence and testimony to mull over after hearing from 22 witnesses, including Crumbley, over the last week.
Prosecutors say Crumbley made a gun accessible to her son, ignored his mental health struggles and declined to take him home when confronted with his violent drawings at school on the day of the sho*oting.
They argued Crumbley should have alerted school officials that her family owned guns, including a 9mm handgun her son used at a shooting range days before school officials became concerned over his behavior — and then used for his attack.
Jennifer and James were called into school for a meeting after a teacher discovered a disturbing drawing of a gun, bullet and wounded man accompanied by hopeless phrases on Ethan’s math assignment.
Following a 12-minute meeting over their son’s concerning behavior, they opted to let him stay in class. Hours later, he pulled the 9mm gun out of his backpack and sh*ot 11 people.
“He literally drew a picture of what he was going to do. It says, ‘Help me,’” prosecutor Karen McDonald said during Friday’s closing arguments.
Jennifer Crumbley knew the gun her son had drawn was identical to the one at home, McDonald argued.
The parents are also accused of ignoring their son’s mental health struggles, which were detailed in a journal police found in his backpack following the massacre.
During cross-examination, prosecutors tore into Crumbley’s claims that she was a “hyper-vigilant helicopter parent” who was “close” with her son, arguing she was too busy to notice his deeply disturbed mentality amid her heated affair with a married firefighter.
Crumbley and her lover Brian Meloche would often find strangers on a swingers app called Adult Friend Finder and arrange “meet-ups” at hotels after work, prosecutors argued.
While Jennifer admitted to using the app to “arrange for other people to meet us,” she claimed she was going to hotels after work “on business.”
“I only met with Brian during work hours,” said the mom, who worked for a real estate company at the time.
Not only did Jennifer Crumbley spend her time having rendezvous with her firefighter boyfriend, but she would be gone for hours each week, either skiing or riding horses, prosecutors said.
Crumbley argued that her son was “not into horses,” but prosecutors claimed in court Friday that she was so preoccupied with her hobbies, she neglected her son.
Prosecutors showed text message exchanges between Jennifer and Ethan in which the word “love” only appeared three times over several years.
They also revealed excerpts from his journal, in which he wrote, “my parents won’t listen to me about help or [a] therapist,” and “I have zero help for my mental problems, and it’s causing me to sho*ot up the f—king school.”
Those diary entries seemed to have come as a s*hock to the mother, who said she had never read his journals before or monitored his internet activity.
Crumbley also argued that it was her husband who decided to buy their son, who was 15 at the time, the gun he would use in the massacre — though she admitted she did not object to the purchase at the time.
Ethan Crumbley, now 17, pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism and was sentenced in December to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Both Crumbley parents have been in jail for over two years, unable to post a $500,000 bond while awaiting their trials.