(RepublicanView.org) – A Michigan mother has been convicted of manslaughter after her son killed four fellow students using a gun she gave him as a gift. Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter after the court heard she had not secured the gun and paid no attention to her son’s deteriorating mental state. It is the first time a parent has paid a legal price for shootings committed by their children.
Prosecutors said Crumbley failed to take even basic steps to secure the handgun and refused to bring the teenager to a doctor when he told her he was seeing “demons” throwing objects around the house.
Ethan Crumbley, who is now 17, was jailed for life for killing four classmates at Oxford High School in Michigan in 2021. In his mother’s manslaughter trial, jurors were asked whether she could have foreseen her son’s actions and intervened to prevent them.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald told the jury that immediately after her son was sent to jail for the rest of his life, she texted her boss saying, “Don’t judge me based on what he did. I need my job.” She said the defendant was concerned only for herself and paid little attention to her child.
On the day of the shooting, Crumbley and her husband, who will be tried separately in March, cut short a school meeting convened to discuss disturbing pictures the 15-year-old had drawn. They refused to take their son home, and school officials sent him back to class, not knowing that he had the gun in his backpack.
That afternoon, Crumbley shot and killed 17-year-old Justin Shilling at point-blank range. Hana St. Juliana was shot twice, once as she lay on the ground. Tate Myre and Madisyn Baldwin died next. Seven others were injured in the rampage, which ended when deputies from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department arrested Ethan unharmed. Crumbley told the judge he was a terrible person who had done terrible things.
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