In a recent trial, Jennifer Crumbley, mother of a young man responsible for a fatal gun attack at a school, blamed her husband for the charges against them. Crumbley, who decided to testify in her defense, stated that she was not responsible for the firearm they purchased for her son.
This is the first case of a parent facing court for a mass shooting committed by a child. Jennifer’s husband James faces a separate trial on the same charges. Both could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
Crumbley case details
The Crumbley couple’s son is serving a life sentence for the murder of four classmates at Oxford High School, in Michigan, in 2021. At the time of the attack, he was just 15 years old.
After 21 witnesses for the prosecution, Jennifer Crumbley, aged 45, was the first to testify for the defense. She reported that her husband brought their son to a gun store just after Thanksgiving to buy a handgun as a gift. She claimed she did not feel comfortable safely storing the gun, which had a cable lock.
Parents face serious accusations
One of prosecutors’ main arguments is that the parents did not provide their son with the mental health support he needed. The young man’s diary and text messages presented as evidence show that he suffered from hallucinations and felt neglected by his family.
According to the statements, the firearm was stored in the couple’s bedroom and the son did not know where it was. However, the young man had access to the gun’s lock key, which was kept in a beer mug in the kitchen.
Defending the shooter’s mother
Jennifer Crumbley’s defense argues that she could not have foreseen her son’s actions and that she is being unfairly blamed. On the day of the attack, school officials found disturbing drawings of her son. Parents were called to the school, but left an early meeting because they had to return to work.
Jennifer Crumbley’s trial continues, with prosecutors’ cross-examination scheduled for Friday. The consequences of this unprecedented legal case could affect how future similar situations are handled in U.S. courts.