NATIONAL NEWS

Jury finds Michigan school shooter’s mother Jennifer Crumbley guilty of manslaughter

Feb 5, 2024, 9:14 PM | Updated: Feb 6, 2024, 10:46 am

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan jury convicted a school shooter’s mother of involuntary manslaughter Tuesday in a first-of-its-kind trial to determine whether she had any responsibility in the deaths of four students in 2021.

Prosecutors say Jennifer Crumbley was grossly negligent when she failed to tell Oxford High School that the family had guns, including a 9 mm handgun that her son, Ethan Crumbley, used at a shooting range on the weekend before the Nov. 30, 2021, attack.

The jury — six men and six women including some gun owners or people who grew up with guns — began deliberations Monday morning. They sent a note to the judge that afternoon asking if they could “infer anything” from prosecutors not presenting Ethan Crumbley or others to explain specifically how he got access to a gun at home to shoot up Oxford High School.

“The answer is no,” Oakland County Judge Cheryl Matthews said. “You’re only allowed to consider the evidence that was admitted in the case.”

Prosecutors say Jennifer Crumbley had a duty under Michigan law to prevent her son, who was 15 at the time, from harming others. She’s accused of failing to secure a gun and ammunition at home and failing to get help for her son’s mental health.

The morning of Nov. 30, 2021, school staff members were concerned about a violent drawing of a gun, bullet and wounded man, accompanied by desperate phrases, on Ethan Crumbley’s math assignment. He was allowed to stay in school following a meeting with his parents, who didn’t take him home.

A few hours later, Ethan Crumbley pulled a handgun from his backpack and shot 10 students and a teacher, killing four peers. No one had checked the backpack.

The gun was the Sig Sauer 9 mm his father, James Crumbley, purchased with him just four days earlier. Jennifer Crumbley took her son to a shooting range that same weekend.

“You’re the last adult to have possession of that gun,” assistant prosecutor Marc Keast said while cross-examining Jennifer Crumbley last week. “You saw your son shoot the last practice round before the (school) shooting on Nov. 30. You saw how he stood. … He knew how to use the gun.”

The teen’s mom replied, “Yes, he did.”

Ethan Crumbley, now 17, pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism and is serving a life sentence. Prosecutors were not required to call him as a witness to try to prove their case against Jennifer Crumbley.

Her lawyer argued last week that the teen actually might be able to help her defense. It didn’t matter: The judge kept him off the witness stand because attorneys for Ethan Crumbley said he would cite his right to remain silent. He still might appeal his sentence.

Jennifer and James Crumbley are the first parents in the U.S. to be charged in a mass school shooting committed by their child. James Crumbley, 47, faces trial in March.

Jennifer Crumbley, 45, told jurors that it was her husband’s job to keep track of the gun. She also said she saw no signs of mental distress in her son.

“We would talk. We did a lot of things together,” she testified. “I trusted him, and I felt I had an open door. He could come to me about anything.”

In a journal found by police, Ethan Crumbley wrote that his parents wouldn’t listen to his pleas for help.

“I have zero help for my mental problems and it’s causing me to shoot up the … school,” he wrote.

___

Follow Ed White on X at https://twitter.com/edwritez

National News

FILE - Deborah Moody, an administrative clerk at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchora...

Associated Press

Alaska election officials to recalculate signatures for ranked vote repeal measure after court order

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge on Friday disqualified numerous booklets used to gather signatures for an initiative that aims to repeal Alaska’s ranked choice voting system and gave elections officials a deadline to determine if the measure still had sufficient signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The decision by Superior Court […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

UN approves more transparent procedures for people and entities to get off its sanctions lists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved more transparent procedures Friday for the hundreds of individuals, companies and other entities who are subject to U.N. sanctions and want to get off the blacklists. The resolution, co-sponsored by Malta and the United States, also authorizes the establishment of a new informal working […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Texas, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Dec. 13...

Associated Press

Longtime US Rep Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who had pancreatic cancer, has died

Longtime U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who helped lead federal efforts to protect women from domestic violence and recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday, has died. She was 74. Lillie Conley, her chief of staff, confirmed Friday night that Jackson Lee, who had pancreatic cancer, had died. The Democrat had represented her Houston-based […]

5 hours ago

Stools line the bar at Elwood's Liquor and Tap on Thursday, July 18, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wis. This w...

Associated Press

Outside the RNC, small Milwaukee businesses and their regulars tried to salvage a sluggish week

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jay Nelson was standing outside the convenience store he manages in downtown Milwaukee when one of his regular customers walked by on her daily stroll around the neighborhood. “I’ve been telling people to come and buy even just a bottle of wine,” she said, stretching out her arms. “I hope it helps.” […]

6 hours ago

Descendants of Nelson Bell, brothers Milford Fonza, front left, and Elmer Fonza, front right, surro...

Associated Press

In a California gold rush town, some Black families are fighting for land taken from their ancestors

COLOMA, Calif. (AP) — In a tiny town where the California gold rush began, Black families are seeking restitution for land that was taken from their ancestors to make way for a state park now frequented by fourth graders learning about the state’s history. Their efforts in Coloma, a town of around 300 people that’s […]

6 hours ago

An image of President Joe Biden is projected on a screen during the final night of the 2024 Republi...

Associated Press

Biden’s ability to win back skeptical Democrats tested at a perilous moment for his campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a week of campaign stops, interviews and a determined insistence he is the best candidate to confront Republican Donald Trump, President Joe Biden’s efforts to revive his reelection bid and win over skeptical Democrats have done little to soften the push for him to exit the 2024 race. Biden has weighty […]

6 hours ago

Jury finds Michigan school shooter’s mother Jennifer Crumbley guilty of manslaughter