Trial for Oxford High School shooter's mom Jennifer Crumbley begins Tuesday with jury selection

The trial of Jennifer Crumbley, one of the parents of the Oxford High School shooter charged with involuntary manslaughter, is expected to begin Tuesday with jury selection commencing inside an Oakland County courthouse this morning.

Jennifer, along with her husband James Crumbley, are each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. They've both been in police custody since early December 2021, when they were arrested days after their son killed four students at Oxford High School. 

The shooter was sentenced in late 2023 when he asked the judge to give him a term requested by the victims. 

FOX 2 will be updating this story throughout the day from inside the Sixth Judicial Court where Judge Cheryl Matthews will oversee the case. 

*Refresh this story for the latest updates*

9:05 a.m. - Judge gavels in

Judge Matthews graveled in the courtroom at 9:05 a.m. Jennifer Crumbley arrived and was seated just prior to that. 

The first potential jurors are expected to enter the room around 10 a.m.

11:27 a.m. - Oakland County prosecutor walks in

Karen McDonald arrived in the courtroom for the first time Tuesday, along with the rest of the legal teams for both sides.

11:40 a.m. - Judge gavels back in

The judge said she was "cautiously optimistic" about today's proceedings going well, but warned it could take a long time with hundreds of people called to the courthouse Tuesday.

12:12 p.m. - First jury pool walks in

About 50 jurors walked into the courtroom just after noon. It's a crowded room with some jurors standing. 

The judge called 17 people to the jury box to kick things off. 

12:31 p.m. - Jury pool sworn in

The jury was told their instructions, which included their job, the questions they'd be asked during selection, and why they may be excused from the group. 

In speaking about the prominence of the case and its media coverage, the judge said they weren't looking for people who weren't aware of the Oxford High School shooting.

"The goal isn't to find jurors who have never heard of the incident. The goal is to find jurors who are going to be fair, impartial, who are critical thinkers," she said.

12:52 p.m. - Break for lunch

After reading the crimes that Crumbley was charged with, the judge said she would be calling a break for lunch, pleading with potential jurors to not speak to one another while out of the courtroom. 

2:11 p.m. - Session resumes

The jury has returned from lunch and court is back in session. 

Two people were excluded for prepaid vacations immediately. The judge said the trial anticipated the trial lasting two to three weeks long.

One person is enrolled in a local college and would miss weeks of class. The judge said that wasn't grounds for removal.

2:33 p.m. - Judge questions jury

Many of the potential jurors have relationships with individuals who work with police. One person used to work in law enforcement. Another person said they had been victimized by crime twice when they were robbed at gunpoint.

Another person said their home had been broken into. 

Multiple people said they owned guns. One person who opposed their possession in a home was excluded by the judge - the third of the day. 

2:55 p.m. - Exclusions over guns and Oxford

The fourth and sixth exclusion of the day was also because of someone's concerns over guns. 

Another person had minor connections to Oxford schools. Their child's school had mourned the victims, and he had spoken to parents who had kids at the school. 

They didn't know if they could be fair during the trial and were excluded. 

3:30 p.m. - 'I'm asking you a hypothetical'

The judge used multiple hypothetical questions when asking the potential jurors about the case. 

"If your son threw a baseball through a neighbor's window, should the parent be punished based on the evidence?"

Matthews admitted it was an oversimplification of the case, but at the heart of the trial is where a parent's responsibility stands in that kind of case. 

The judge ordered a short break after that.

3:53 p.m. - Jury pool returns from break

4:03 p.m. - Cross-examination begins

Prosecutor Karen McDonald started questioning prospective jurors about their thoughts. 

When asking those on the stand if they could make a decision based on the evidence presented in court, all but one of the people raised their hands. 

The person who didn't raise their hand said they were a little emotional and also didn't understand everything the judge was saying due to a language barrier. 

4:43 p.m. - Judge ends things for the day

The judge said "you've heard lots of things about the shooting, but very little about this case" to end her remarks for the day. 

McDonald ended her cross-examination without excluding anyone.

The defense is expected to start questioning potential jurors on Wednesday. 

Court will be back in session at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Jury selection

A total of 12 jurors will be selected, along with five alternates for Jennifer Crumbley's trial. 

About 340 people were selected for the pool. They'll go through a rigorous selection process that includes a questionnaire each will fill out first. 

Based on their answers, they'll either be directed toward the courtroom or their day will be done after being automatically excluded. 

The courtroom will seat 50 potential jurors at a time, who will then be questioned by the judge as well as attorneys from the prosecution and defense. 

A court staff attorney said it could be a very unpredictable process. 


PONTIAC, MI - MARCH 22: Oakland County 6th Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews presides over the pretrial hearing of James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of the alleged teen Oxford School shooter Ethan Crumbley who allegedly killed 4 people and wound

Crumbley parents charged

Both James and Jennifer Crumbley were arrested in early December 2021 when they were found in the basement of an art studio in Detroit after a chaotic week when they were believed to have gone on the run from charges. Their son had been arrested the same day as the shooting. 

He admitted to the shooting in October 2022, when he pleaded guilty to murdering Hana St. Juliana, 14, Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17. 

More coverage

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced charges against the Crumbley parents on Dec. 3, 2021, four days after the shooting.

Over the past two years, evidence has come out during their court hearings and during the shooter's hearings as well that show that James bought the gun used in the shooting days before the shooting.

RELATED: "Ethan don't do it": Parents of Oxford High School suspect sent messages during shooting.

Additionally, after their son was charged, McDonald said they drained their son's bank account and withdrew $2,000 from their account as well. 

Preliminary hearing goes to trial

During the preliminary hearings, it was revealed that Jennifer ignored texts from her son about ‘demons’ he claimed to face

Over the past 25 months, the Crumbley parents had largely argued together through court battles as they appealed charges all the way to the state supreme court. Last October, the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from the Crumbleys and the January court date was set.

More details were unearthed during the preliminary exam. Check them out here

Five weeks after that ruling, the parents severed their cases.

They are the first parents of a mass shooter to be charged for their child's crimes. 

Their son was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on Dec. 8, 2023, after a full day of witness impact statements. 

Will shooter testify?

The teen shooter appealed his sentence he learned of last December. 

According to court records, he was among the witnesses listed for one of the trials. Information from him will also be sought for the case, the letter from his attorneys said. 

His attorneys plan to advise him against testifying and ask him to invoke his right to remain silent.