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Jury deliberations underway in Jennifer Crumbley manslaughter trial

"Justitia" - Lady Justice Statue
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"Justitia" - Lady Justice Statue

Jury deliberations began Monday for the mother of the teen who killed four classmates at Oxford High School in 2021 and wounded seven others, including a teacher.

Prosecutors charged both Jennifer Crumbley and her husband, James Crumbley, with four counts of involuntary manslaughter for each of the victims killed. The couple is being tried separately, with James Crumbley set to go to trial in March.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald alleges Jennifer Crumbley ignored her son’s requests for counseling, then agreed he could have a hand gun as a present. McDonald accuses Crumbley of showing little empathy for her son, even when she messaged her boss that he was likely the shooter — just hours after the crime.

“And it’s already clear that he is probably never, ever, ever going to be out of prison for the rest of his life, she’s texting: ‘Don’t judge me based on what he did, I need my job.’” McDonald said Friday.

The defense claims that Crumbley’s son never requested to see a doctor, that they took part in family activities together, and blames James Crumbley for not keeping the weapon locked away.

“No parent would purchase a weapon if they believed their child had mental illnesses.”

The case could set a precedent for whether parents can face serious charges because of a crime committed by their child.

Quinn Klinefelter is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, anchoring midday newscasts and preparing reports for WDET, NPR and the BBC.