PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - Jennifer Crumbley has been found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter by a jury following her trial in Oakland County court in a first-of-its-kind trial.
Crumbley was convicted on all four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the murder of four high school students – Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling – at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021, a school shooting committed by her son.
The monumental decision is the first time that a parent has been convicted on charges related to a mass shooting in the United States.
Prosecutors said 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 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 the shooter 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."
When will Jennifer Crumbley be sentenced?
The jury returned around 9 a.m. to resume deliberations and no questions were asked throughout the day. Then, just around 1:15 p.m., the verdict was in.
The jury reached their verdict after deliberations began Monday morning. Her trial lasted seven days and included hours of witness testimony, surveillance video evidence, and thousands of text messages between her and her husband, her son, and others.
After hearing her fate, Judge Matthews announced Crumbley's sentencing would be scheduled for April 9 at 9 a.m.
Jennifer faces up to 15 years in prison for each conviction of involuntary manslaughter – meaning, if sentenced to serve the terms consecutively, she could spend 60 years in prison.
The implications of a parent of a school shooter being convicted in relation to the shooting will have massive implications, according to FOX 2's Charlie Langton.
"Now, parents beware, because if your kids do something really bad, like a crime, the cops are going to come to you. And in this case, they they put Jennifer Crumbly in handcuffs while they questioned her at the station. They're going to look at your text messages. They're going to look at your phone records. They're going to look at where you are. Is this an invasion of your privacy? No, it's not because a crime was committed. And I think this case is going to extend the long arm of the law to these parents," Langton said.
What was Jennifer Crumbley convicted of?
Her husband, James Crumbley, is also facing the same charges and is expected to go to trial on March 5, 2024.
What did Jennifer Crumbley do?
The prosecution argues that Jennifer and James ignored their son's mental health and even bought him a gun before the Oxford High School shooting.
Jennifer's attorney maintains that her client knew nothing about guns and was not involved in purchasing the weapon. Receipts provided in court show that James bought the gun, and the shooter admitted during his plea hearing that he gave James money to buy the firearm. Video from a gun range showed Jennifer shooting a gun with her son, but her lawyer claims she didn't know what she was doing.
Journal entries detailing the shooter's mental state have been presented in court, but Jennifer's defense argues that there is no evidence Jennifer knew about this writing.
Witnesses called by the prosecution during the trial have also described a meeting between the Crumbley parents and school officials the morning of the shooting. The parents were called after violent drawings were discovered on their son's schoolwork.
During this meeting, a school counselor told the parents to get their son mental health help as soon as possible and recommended that they take him home from school. However, the parents chose not to take him home.
Jennifer Crumbley's trial so far
Read recaps of each day of testimony below:
Day 7: Closing arguments
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report