WATCH LIVE: Verdict in for Jennifer Crumbley, mother of Oxford High School shooter

(CBS DETROIT) – The jury has returned a verdict in the trial of Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the Oxford High School shooter. 

Jury deliberations began Monday after a week-long trial to determine if the mother bears any responsibility for the Oxford High School shooting, where her son killed four students, Justin Shilling, Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, and Hana St. Juliana, and injured seven other people on Nov. 30, 2021.

Jennifer Crumbley is the first parent in the United States to go on trial in a mass school shooting carried out by their child. 

The trial for her husband, James Crumbley, is scheduled for March. They were both charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The parents are accused of not getting their son the necessary help for his mental health needs and for purchasing the gun for their son, which was used in the shooting.  

The shooter was sentenced to life in prison without parole in December.

Closing arguments in the trial of Jennifer Crumbley 

Jennifer Crumbley’s cross-examination ended Friday, and closing arguments began after a week of testimony, in which the mother also took the stand herself. 

The prosecution and the defense each spent over an hour making their closing arguments. 

Closing arguments conclude in trial of Jennifer Crumbley, mother of Oxford High School shooter


Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said in her closing argument that it wasn’t easy to watch the trial and hear about how the four students were killed in the Oxford High School shooting. 

The prosecution argues that the mother should be held partially responsible for the deaths of the four students because she ignored signs of the shooter’s mental health needs and purchased the gun that her son used in the shooting.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said “just the smallest steps” by the mother could have prevented the deaths of the four students.  

The defense maintains that Jennifer Crumbley did her best at being an attentive parent and did not know about the journal entries her son made where he talked about his mental health struggles and the shooting. 

Shannon Smith, Jennifer Crumbley’s attorney, said the prosecution had “cherry-picked” evidence to show the innocent mother as being a negligent parent.   

What was revealed during the testimony of the Jennifer Crumbley trial

Several people testified in Jennifer Crumbley’s trial. 

Shawn Hopkins, a counselor at Oxford High School, testified about how teachers had emailed him with concerns they had about the shooter. 

He also spoke about the meeting he had with the Crumbley parents the morning of the shooting, which was prompted after a teacher found violent drawings on his math assignment. Hopkins said that if the parents didn’t get their son their son the therapy he needed for his mental health within 48 hours, he planned to contact Child Protective Services. 

The former dean of students at Oxford High School, Nicholas Ejak, testified that there was no “reasonable suspicion” to search the shooter’s backpack the morning of the shooting. 

Dispute over text messages exchanged between Jennifer Crumbley, attorney about turning self in


Detectives testified about responding to the school on the day of the shooting and finding Jennifer Crumbley after she was charged. 

Brian Meloche, a friend of Jennifer Crumbley’s from high school, also testified. While he was on the stand, the jury learned about the affair between Meloche and Jennifer Crumbley.

Facebook messages exchanged between the two before and after the shooting were shown in court. 

On Dec. 2, Jennifer Crumbley messaged Meloche about the involuntary manslaughter charges.

“We’re on the run again. Helicopters not sure where to I’ll message you,” Crumbley said.

On Dec. 3, the mother messaged Meloche about how school officials said the shooter could stay in school.

“His f—— backpack was with him why didn’t they search it?” Jennifer Crumbley said.

Journal entries made by the shooter were also shown in court during the testimony of Timothy Willis, a detective lieutenant with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, who found the journal in the shooter’s backpack. 

Here are some of the things the shooter wrote in the journal:

  • “I have zero help for my mental problems and it’s causing me to shoot up the f—— school.”
  • “I want help, but my parents don’t listen to me so I can’t get any help.”
  • “My parents won’t listen to me about help or a therapist.”
  • “I want to shoot up the f—— school so badly.”
  • “Soon I am going to buy a 9 mm pistol.”
  • “I’m about to shoot up the school and spend the rest of my life in prison.”
  • “First off, I got my gun. It’s a SP 2022 Sig Sauer 9mm. Second the shooting is tomorrow. I have access to the gun and the ammo. I am fully committed to this now. So yeah…I’m going to prison for life and many people have about one day left to live.”

Jennifer Crumbley also took the stand in her trial and said she wouldn’t have done anything differently as a mother but wishes her son would have acted differently in reference to the shooting.

“I wish he would have killed us instead,” Jennifer Crumbley said. 

She said that she never would have thought that her son would put other people in danger.

“As a parent, you spend your whole life trying to protect your child from other dangers,” Jennifer Crumbley said. “You never would think you would have to protect your child from harming somebody else. That’s what blew my mind. That was the hardest thing I had to stomach, was that my child harmed and killed people.”

She testified that her husband was responsible for storing the gun that was used on the day of the shooting.


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