The prosecution details Jennifer Crombley’s parenting of her son, the shooter, during interrogation
PONTIAC, MI – Prosecutors sought to dismantle Jennifer Crumbley’s self-description as a “vigilant parent and helicopter mother” when She returned to the position On Friday, instead, she suggested that the mother of school shooter Ethan Crumbley was too busy with her hobbies, such as her horses, and her extramarital affair to notice her son’s deteriorating mental condition.
And in a day Shooting at Oxford High School In 2021, when Crombley and her husband, James, previously met with school officials about a disturbing drawing of a gun found by their son’s teacher, prosecutors noted that she again chose not to be with her son by not taking him home.
“On November 30, 2021 at 12:51 PM, you could have been with him?” Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Mark Keast asked Crombley during his questioning.
“I could have done that, yes,” said Crumbley.
“And you didn’t?” Kest asked.
She replied: “No.”
That fateful decision to leave her 15-year-old son at school, where he fatally shot four students and wounded several others that afternoon, is part of a pattern of choices that prosecutors believe builds a case alleging that Crombley It was illegally neglected.
the An unprecedented trial An unusual charge has been made that holds a parent of a school shooter criminally responsible for their child’s actions. A jury must decide whether Crombley, 45, is guilty of manslaughter in the deaths of the four students by either failing to store the firearm in a way that would impede her son from accessing the gun and ammunition or failing to exercise. “reasonable care” for her son and prevented him from carrying out the mass shooting.
During cross-examination, the prosecution came up with the idea that Crombley was aware of warning signs that Ethan was disturbed, “depressed” and “acting sad”, especially when one of her best friends was gone, yet she never thought to seek help. From a mental health professional in the months before the shooting.
They questioned her about her previous testimony in which she said that her husband was the one who bought him the semi-automatic pistol, and that while she was taking her son to the shooting range the weekend before the mass shooting, she left the gun store. To her husband.
This “was his own thing,” she testified Thursday.
Although she may have “entrusted” the responsibility of storing the gun to her husband, “it’s very clear that you didn’t trust James very much,” Keast said, noting that she had problems with him holding down a job and handling his money. And even get out of bed on time.
James Crombley, 47, is expected to stand trial next month on the same manslaughter charges.
Even after Jennifer and James Crombley were arrested on those charges after law enforcement found them hiding in a Detroit art studio, prosecutors indicated she still wasn’t worried about her son, who was taken into custody immediately after the shooting.
Prosecutors played her phone calls from the Oakland County Jail in which she asked her father to set up a GoFundMe to pay for her horses to be housed and to Google how many calories are in a bologna sandwich and other foods.
Keast wondered why her son was not mentioned in any prison phone calls during the first 10 days of her arrest. She replied that she didn’t think she could.
Emotions ran high throughout the trial, as jurors heard from survivors of the shooting and watched video of the massacre from inside the high school. Crombley also cried repeatedly from her seat.
The jury on Thursday heard excerpts from Ethan Crombley’s memoir in which he wrote: “My parents won’t listen to me about help or a therapist,” expressed a desire to “shoot up” his school and said he would get a 9mm handgun.
Prosecutors responded Friday that she was preoccupied with her pursuits, including maintaining an affair that included meeting in a Costco parking lot once a week and even arranging a meeting on AdultFriendFinder, an app for sexual encounters.
“And this took up your time, energy and focus?” Kest asked.
“I don’t think it took a lot of time, no,” Crumbley said.
On Thursday, when the defense attorney asked her about raising her children, Crombley testified, “I don’t think I’m a failure as a parent,” but she was remorseful for her son’s actions.
Ethan Crumbley’s rampage left four people dead: Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Meyer, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14 years old; and Justin Schilling, 17 years old.
“I wish he had killed us instead,” Crombley testified Thursday.
Closing arguments are expected on Friday.
Seventeen people were called as jurors, but only 12 would weigh Crombley’s fate; No one in court, including the jurors themselves, was told who was among that final group until deliberations began.
The jury was not sequestered during the trial, but was ordered to refrain from watching news reports, checking social media or talking about the case.
Selena Guevara reported from Pontiac and Eric Ortiz from New York.