45-year-old’s son is in prison serving a life sentence for a shooting at Oxford High School that also injured seven
A mother of the Oxford High School shooter was handed four counts of manslaughter unleashed by her son in Michigan in November 2021, as she failed to prevent the mass shooting that claimed her son’s four classmates, the court decision read Tuesday.
Jennifer Crumbley and her husband James are facing separate trials for the same charges as the prosecutors’ evidence suggested that she failed to stop her son from having a gun and ignoring signs of such a shooting.
Oakland County court handed Jennifer Crumbley four charges for the first time for the manslaughter carried out by her child — who is currently 17 years old.
The 45-year-old’s son is in prison serving a life sentence for a shooting at Oxford High School that also injured seven.
While speaking to the jurors, the judge said this was likely “the hardest thing you’ve ever done”.
The relatives of the victims expressed their relief over the verdict as she was handed four counts of manslaughter — each carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years.
“The People spoke!” Buck Myre, the father of Tate Myre, a 16-year-old killed in the shooting, told the BBC, adding that “you can agree or disagree with the people, but this is how the system is supposed to work.”
The jury was examining the question of whether the mother foresaw and could have prevented the shooting.
Crumbley and her husband bought the weapon days before the Oxford High School shooting.
After the information, police arrested the parents and were charged after the killings. They were incarcerated and could not secure any bail.
Prosecutors during their investigation found that shooter Ethan Crumbley required mental health assistance and complained of hallucinations, however, his parents did not get him treatment. The convicted mother said that she did not think her son had mental health problems.
Media reports show that the parents did not take their son’s disturbing painting seriously on the morning of the shooting and they were called for a meeting in this regard. They also refused to take their son back home.
Officials in schools sent him back to his class without checking his bag.
After some hours, the shooting killed Hana St Juliana, 14, Myre, 16, and Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling, both 17.
According to experts, such cases may pave the way for other parents to be criminally charged for the mass shootings of their children.
While disagreeing with the jury’s decision, Stephen J Morse, who is a professor of law and psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, was quoted in a BBC report that he disagreed with the verdict and that because Ethan Crumbley had pleaded guilty, he was the only one responsible for the shooting.
“I understand that she was not necessarily the best mother in the world, but this is not a crime,” he said, adding that the decision could set a bad precedent, causing courts to look for “scapegoats” in similar situations.