Jennifer Crumbley trial: Jury finds Michigan school shooter’s mother guilty of manslaughter

Jurors on Tuesday returned guilty verdicts for Jennifer Crumbley, finding her criminally responsible for the deaths of four students who were killed when her son opened fire at a Michigan high school in 2021.

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Crumbley, 45, was found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of Hana St. Juliana, 14; Tate Myre, 16; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Justin Shilling, 17. The teenagers were killed on Nov. 30, 2021, when Jennifer Crumbley’s then-15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley, shot them and several others at Oxford High School.

On Tuesday, Judge Cheryl Matthews set Jennifer Crumbley’s sentencing for the morning of April 9. She faces as many as 15 years behind bars, WXYZ-TV reported.

Prosecutors said Jennifer Crumbley was negligent in giving her son a gun even though he had shown signs of mental distress in the months before the shooting, telling jurors that “ordinary care” could have prevented the attack. Jennifer Crumbley’s defense attorney argued that Ethan Crumbley never showed signs of mental distress in the run-up to the shooting, describing her client as a mother who was doing her best.

Craig Shilling, the father of Justin Shilling, told CNN that Tuesday’s verdict represented “a step towards accountability.”

“It’s definitely going to resonate with me for a while,” he said. “It’s not really about winning or losing. It’s about making it apparent that all of this has to stop in society. ...

“You cannot choose to take your own interests over your child, especially when it comes to mental health and addressing, you know, concerns, the problem. Everything about that was disturbing.”

Authorities have also charged Jennifer Crumbley’s husband, James Crumbley, with four counts of manslaughter in the shooting. He is scheduled to face a jury in March.

The case is the first in which parents have been charged for a mass shooting carried out by their child.

Prosecutors said that social media posts showed Ethan Crumbley had planned the mass shooting at Oxford High School in advance. In addition to the four deaths, seven other people were injured. He was sentenced last year to life in prison after the teen pleaded guilty to multiple counts of first-degree murder and other charges.