The mother of a teenager who carried out a school shooting in the United States was found guilty Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter in the attack that left four dead.
Jennifer Crumbley, 45, and her husband James, 47, bought the gun for their son just days before he carried out the attack at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021. The father will be tried separate from March.
The twelve jurors, who began their deliberations on Monday morning at the Pontiac courthouse in Michigan (north), delivered their verdict early Tuesday afternoon.
On April 9, Jennifer Crumbley’s sentence will be announced, which could be up to 15 years in prison.
Ethan Crumbley, 17, has been sentenced to life in prison for the shooting in which four students aged 14 and 17 were killed and six others, as well as a teacher, were injured.
In closing arguments, prosecutor Karen McDonald asked the jury to find Jennifer Crumbley guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each victim.
However, her defense attorney Shannon Smith argued that Jennifer Crumbley cannot be charged for the actions of her troubled son.
“No one would have thought of it,” Smith said. “Can every parent be responsible for everything their children do?” he asked.
During the trial, Karen Crumbley testified that her husband had bought the gun a few days before the attack, as an early Christmas present, and that he had taken the boy to the gun range.
The woman pointed out that her husband was in charge of storing the weapons at home and only expected to use them in the shooting range.
On the day of the shooting, the Crumbleys were called to their son’s school after a teacher was alarmed by a violent drawing she found on Ethan’s desk.
Parents are shown the drawing and advised to give special help to the teenager.
But they refused to let him go home, so Ethan returned to his classroom. Afterwards he went to the bathroom and came out shooting the gun hidden in his backpack.