PONTIAC, Michigan – Jennifer Crambley, a Michigan woman charged in connection with her son’s murder deadly school shooting In 2021, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday in an unprecedented case.
The unanimous decision was made on the second day of the jury’s deliberations remarkable test This raised an unusual question: Can the parent of a child who commits a mass shooting be held criminally responsible?
Crambley, 45, was charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter — one for each of the victims in the November 2021 attack at Oxford High School. was sentenced to life imprisonment in December without parole.
He now faces up to 15 years in prison and remains in prison.
The The trial opened on January 25 In an Oakland County courtroom, he touched on the themes of good parenting and gun safety, and it came at a time when school shootings across the United States have rattled communities like a drumbeat. Uvalde, Texas ;; Nashville; and Perry, Iowa.
Oakland County jurors examined more than 400 pieces of evidence, including text messages and photos from Crambley’s cell phone and dramatic video of the shooting party, to determine the extent to which parents should be held responsible for their child’s actions. visibly shook many in the courtroom.
The prosecution called more than 20 witnesses, including law enforcement and school personnel, while the defense called only one: the defendant.
To make its case, the prosecution tried to portray Crambley as a neglectful mother who cared more about her hobbies and continued an extramarital affair than spending time with her son. When she gave her husband and son a semi-automatic handgun days before the shooting, prosecutors said neither of them stored it properly.
On the same day as the shooting, when the Crambleys were called to school about a disturbing drawing of a gun their son had previously made, the parents did not tell school officials he had access to the gun or take it home.
But his defense attorney, Shannon Smith, suggested that James Crumbley was specifically responsible for keeping the gun, and that the school knew Ethan was having trouble paying attention in class but didn’t fully inform Jennifer Crumbley.
During his closing argument, Smith asked the jury to acquit his client “not just for Jennifer Crambley, but for every mother out there who is doing everything she can and could easily be in her shoes.”
James Crumbley, 47, is expected to stand trial next month on the same charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Jennifer Crambley took a position in his own defense. She testified that she was generally worried and “depressed” about her son’s future after high school, but that his mental health never bothered her enough that she felt he needed to see a professional.
She admitted that she could have taken him home on the day of the shooting, but also did not believe that he could be so violent. More than two years after the shooting, she told the jury she wouldn’t have done anything differently.
“I don’t think I’ve failed as a parent,” she said.
Selina Guevara reported from Pontiac and Eric Ortiz from New York.
This is an evolving story. Please check for updates.