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Jury finds school shooter’s mother guilty of manslaughter

Jennifer Crumbley and her attorney in court Associated Press/Photo by Carlos Osorio

Jury finds school shooter’s mother guilty of manslaughter

A Michigan jury deliberated for less than two days before finding Jennifer Crumbley guilty on Tuesday of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, but the four sentences could be served concurrently or simultaneously. Both Jennifer and her husband, James, were charged with manslaughter in 2021 after their son Ethan, then 15 years old, shot and killed four classmates.

Why was she charged with manslaughter? State prosecutors accused the couple of making a gun available to Ethan and ignoring his mental health needs. The couple’s attorneys have insisted the shooting could not have been anticipated, although just hours before the shooting, the parents met with school staff about their son’s violent drawings. The now 17-year-old was sentenced to life in prison without parole in December after pleading guilty to charges of terrorism and first-degree murder. The couple has made history as the first parents charged for a mass shooting committed by their child. Their trials could set a future precedent for similar school shooting cases.

When is Ethan’s father being tried? James Crumbley’s trial is currently scheduled for March 5. Jennifer repeatedly testified throughout her trial that James was responsible for the care and storage of all firearms in the home, including the one used by Ethan in the attack.

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Dunn’s report in Schooled on families lobbying for school safety after the Covenant School shooting in Nashville.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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