Mother ignored Michigan school shooter’s text messages about hallucinations because she was riding horses
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors on Friday sought to portray the mother of the Michigan school shooter as an isolated parent more concerned with horses than with the mental health of her teenage son who had apparently suffered hallucinations months earlier. Four students were killed.
Jennifer Crombley, 45, is on trial for manslaughter For the first time the parents have been accused In a mass shooting at an American school. She and her husband are accused of contributing to the deaths at Oxford High School by neglecting their son’s needs and providing access to guns in the home.
Evidence shows Jennifer Crumbley and her husband, James, were riding horses and did not respond when Ethan Crumbley texted her on March 17, 2021, saying their house was haunted.
She had told her husband earlier that day that she wanted to “get drunk and ride my horse,” according to a letter shown to the jury.
Ethan Crombley said he was scared because the “demons” were “throwing bowls.”
“Can you reply to my texts?” He asked his mother.
Three days later, when his parents were riding horses again, Ethan Crombley texted: “Clothes started flying off the rack. These things only happen when I’m home alone.”
In April 2021, seven months before the school attack, he told a friend that he was “dying mentally and physically.” He said he asked his father to take him to the doctor, but was told to “accept it.”
Prosecutors sought to compare her son’s alleged neglect with more detailed letters from Jennifer Crumbley about the treatment her horse Billy needed because of a leg injury.
“Make sure you get between the heel follicles,” she directed.
That was the day before the school shooting. At the same time, the school was leaving a voicemail telling her that Ethan Crumbley was searching for ammunition on his phone, but he wasn’t in trouble. The message was played in court.
He was 17 years old He was sentenced to life imprisonment In December after he pleaded guilty to murder, terrorism and other crimes. Ethan Crombley was 15 years old at the time of the shooting.
James Crombley faces trial on manslaughter charges in March.
Jennifer Crombley’s defense attorney said the mother was “very vigilant” about her son and should not be accused of involvement in the tragedy.
Attorney Shannon Smith wants Ethan Crombley or his doctors to testify about his mental health, but his attorneys said he will exercise his right to remain silent and also will not waive his right to privacy with psychiatrists.
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