Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of mass shooter Ethan Crumbley, who killed four of his fellow students at an Oxford, Michigan, high school in 2021, was today found guilty of manslaughter.
She faces up to 15 years in prison, and her sentencing hearing was set for April 9. She has been behind bars since her arrest in a Detroit warehouse days after the shooting. The prosecution's case relied on an unusual and novel legal strategy and represented an attempt to expand the scope of blame in mass shootings. While parents have previously faced liability for their child's actions – such as with neglect or firearms charges – this was the first time a parent of a school shooter was held directly responsible for the killings.
Her husband, James, goes on trial next. The son was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty in the killings. Court watchers—and the prosecution—put the novel charges and conviction down to the "egregious" nature of Crumbley's negligence in buying her 15-year-old son a firearm and ignoring red flags. As one juror put it: "The thing that really hammered it home is that she was the last adult with the gun."