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Mother convicted: Involuntary manslaughter for son's deadly school shooting

Jennifer Crumbley is taken into custody after a guilty verdict was read on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024 in Pontiac, Mich. The jury convicted Crumbley of involuntary manslaughter in a first-of-its-kind trial

A mother has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection with her son's deadly school shooting rampage, in what appears to be a groundbreaking verdict that may set a significant precedent. The incident took place at Oxford High School in Michigan two years ago, where Jennifer Crumbly's son, Ethan, pleaded guilty to killing four students. He is currently serving a life sentence for his actions, while his father also faces charges and will go on trial.

Jennifer Crumbly has been found guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors argued that she had ignored obvious signs of her son's mental struggles. They presented evidence, including drawings made by Ethan with the words 'blood everywhere,' to demonstrate that Jennifer had been aware of his alarming mindset. On November 30th, 2021, Jennifer and her husband, James, were summoned to the school after staff discovered Ethan's disturbing artwork. They were advised to take their son home and offered same-day mental health care services, but claimed they couldn't do so due to work commitments. Tragically, only hours later, Ethan carried out the deadly shooting, killing four classmates and injuring seven others.

Throughout the trial, Jennifer Crumbly's defense argued that she could not have predicted the violent actions her son would take and that holding her responsible would establish a dangerous precedent for parents nationwide. However, prosecutors countered this claim by presenting text messages exchanged between Jennifer and Ethan, indicating that she could and should have taken action to address her son's mental struggles. They further argued that Jennifer appeared more focused on her own personal interests, such as her two horses and an extramarital affair, than on her son's well-being.

As a result of the verdict, Jennifer Crumbly now faces a potential prison sentence of 15 years on each of the four counts of involuntary manslaughter. The outcome of this case has drawn significant attention, as it raises important questions about parental responsibility in cases involving mass shootings. While holding parents accountable for the actions of their children can be seen as a departure from the traditional approach, this verdict is likely to generate discussions regarding the role parents should play in recognizing and addressing their children's mental health issues.

The upcoming trial of James Crumbly, Ethan's father, will further shed light on the family dynamics and their potential impact on Ethan's actions. As the legal proceedings continue, the outcome of this case will undoubtedly have lasting implications on future cases involving similar circumstances.

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