PONTIAC, Mich. – The Michigan jury deliberated for a full day in the trial of a school shooter’s mother accused of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of four students in 2021. Jennifer Crumbley may face prison time if convicted.
Prosecutors argue that Crumbley had a legal obligation to prevent her son from causing harm. They claim that she allowed him access to a gun and ammunition at home, and failed to seek help for his mental health issues.
The jury is expected to continue deliberations on Tuesday, after sending a note to the judge during Monday’s proceedings. They asked whether they could “infer anything” from the lack of testimony from Ethan Crumbley or others explaining how he obtained the gun from home.
The tragic incident unfolded on November 30, 2021, when Ethan Crumbley carried out a school shooting at Oxford High School, killing four students and injuring several others. Prior to the attack, concerns had been raised about a violent drawing and disturbing phrases in his school assignment, but no action was taken.
The prosecution argued that Jennifer Crumbley was aware of her son’s access to the gun and his proficiency in using it, emphasizing that she failed to take necessary steps to prevent the tragedy.
Defense attorney Shannon Smith rebutted the prosecution’s claims, arguing that the tragedy was not foreseeable and that Ethan was a skilled manipulator who did not suffer from mental illness.
The case has sparked national debate about parental responsibility and gun access in the home, as the Crumbleys are the first parents in the U.S. to be charged in connection with a mass school shooting by their child. The trial will continue to unfold in the coming days, with significant implications for future cases involving parental liability in such tragic events.