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Mother of Oxford school shooter set to testify on day 7 of trial

Jennifer Crumbley is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter for her role in the deaths of four teenagers at Oxford High School.
Mother of Oxford school shooter set to testify on day 7 of trial
Posted at 7:25 AM, Feb 02, 2024

The trial of Jennifer Crumbley reaches Day 7 on Friday and is moving closer to jury deliberations. Crumbley is the mother of the Oxford High School shooter and she is facing four charges of involuntary manslaughter.

On Thursday, the prosecution rested its case, and the defense began calling witnesses. Crumbley was the first to take the stand and she was there for several hours in her own defense.

She talked about the relationship she had with her son, her husband and more while being questioned by her attorney, Shannon Smith. Now, she'll face cross-examination.

SEE MORE: Michigan school shooter gets life in prison for killing 4 students

During the trial on Thursday, there were also dark and disturbing journal entries from the shooter shown in court, and they also played video of the shooting inside the high school, which led to emotions from many in the courtroom.

Prosecutors allege Crumbley, and her husband, James Crumbley, were negligent and played a role in the shooting that killed four students and injured seven other people — six students and a teacher.

While on the stand Thursday, Crumbley's testimony focused on rebutting the prosecutors' argument that she was not focused on her own son. She also addressed one of the key allegations in the case that she refused to bring her son home from school after he was called to the office over violent drawings.

“We truly did lose a lot," she said on the stand.

Crumbley and her attorney painted a picture that the they part of a normal family by showcasing their life.

"Us going on vacations at the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes,” she said.

Crumbley also testified about the relationship she had with her son.

"I trusted him. I felt like I had an open door and he could come to me about anything. I felt as a family, the three of us were really close," she said.

However, the shooter's journal depicted a different story, one that was dark and disturbing, detailing his mental health struggles and repeated messages of his desire to shoot up the school.

SEE MORE: Jennifer Crumbley denies son had discipline problems before shooting

The journal was found in the backpack he brought that day to school. It contained dozens of pages with drawings of guns, but it did not include the drawings done that day, the ones that ultimately sent him to the counselor's office. The counselor testified earlier this week that James and Jennifer Crumbley refused to take him home.

"There was never a time where I would refuse to take him home. I would easily if he wanted to go take him with me. I had no issues with that," Jennifer said.

She claims she never saw those journal entries and never refused or dismissed her son's care. She said they planned on getting him help, as instructed by the counselor.

However, the lead investigator on the case said those efforts didn't happen in the hours between the meeting and the shooting.

"When viewing the phone logs of Jennifer Crumbley, was there any indication of any phone calls to a facility of that sort?" prosecutors asked.

Det. Lt. Timothy Wallis said there weren't, and there weren't any phone calls to doctors.

"I yelled in my talk to text Ethan, 'Don't do it,' because I thought he was going to kill himself," Crumbley said.

It was that text and one of the last texts Crumbley sent her son. She soon after found out he had the 9mm hand-gun.

During testimony, she said the responsibility of the gun was mostly her husband's, and they haven't spoken since they've been arrested.

“If you could change what happened would you?" Smith asked.

"Oh absolutely. I wish he would’ve killed us instead," Jennifer responded.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Detroit.

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