The jury forewoman revealed the damning evidence that sealed the fate of Jennifer Crumbley, who became the first parent ever convicted over their child’s school shooting on Tuesday.
‘The thing that really hammered it home was that she was the last adult with the gun,’ said the juror, who declined to be named, to DailyMail.com.
‘It was very difficult. Lives hung in the balance and we took that very seriously’, she said, adding that she felt both sides were ‘well represented.’
Crumbley, 45, was convicted on four counts of involuntary manslaughter for her son Ethan’s November 2021 shooting rampage, where he shot 11 people and killed four.
Prosecutors painted her as a reckless and negligent mother, and the trial saw humiliating revelations about Crumbley’s private life come to light, including admitting to having an affair with a local fire captain and recruiting strangers for hotel sex parties around the time of the tragedy.
The mother now faces up to 60 years in prison when she is sentenced in April, and her husband James is due to stand trial in March. Their killer son Ethan was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole.
Jennifer Crumbley (right, with her attorney Shannon Smith) looked stunned as the jury read its guilty verdict on Tuesday, as she became the first parent to ever be convicted over their child’s school shooting
The jury forewoman (pictured) told DailyMail.com that the damning evidence that sealed Jennifer Crumbley’s conviction was that ‘she was the last adult with the gun’
Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty to his crimes and is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole, after murdering four classmates in the Oxford High School shooting in 2021
James and Jennifer Crumbley were both charged in connection with their son’s shooting, the first time parents have faced charges over a school shooting
The case was seen as a watershed legal moment in prosecutions over America’s school shooting crisis, opening the door to parents of teen gunmen being charged more regularly in the future.
After closing arguments were read Friday, the jury broke for the weekend before taking two days to reach its verdict, as Judge Cherly Matthews acknowledged it was ‘the hardest thing you’ve ever done.’
She and her husband James asked to be tried separately, with prosecutors agreeing to their request.
Crumbley’s trial centered on her relationship with her troubled son and the numerous red flags that she ignored before he opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun in his school.
In two days of blockbuster testimony, Crumbley took the stand in her own defense to try and combat claims she was a ‘negligent’ mother.
But her claims that she and Ethan were ‘close’ were rebuffed by prosecutors, who presented a slew of evidence that found she recklessly brushed off her son’s pleas for mental health help.
Among the damning evidence was final diary entries written by Ethan before the shooting, where he wrote: ‘My parents won’t listen to me about help or therapist.’
‘I have zero help for my mental problems and it’s causing me to shoot up the f****** school,’ another entry read.
Crumbley’s claims they were a ‘close’ family also came just a day after her extramarital affair was exposed in court, as prosecutors argued she was focused on her tryst with a fire captain over her disturbed son.
Intimate details of their affair included Crumbley admitting to Meloche in text messages in the aftermath of the tragedy that it ‘could have been prevented.’
On Wednesday, Jennifer’s extramarital affair with fire captain Brian Meloche was exposed
In one of Ethan Crumbley’s diary entries shown on Thursday, Ethan wrote: ‘I have zero help for my mental problems and it’s causing me to shoot up the f****** school’
‘I want help but my parents don’t listen to me so I can’t get any help’, read another entry
In the lead up to the shooting, Ethan displayed a number of alarming red flags that foretold his violent, unhinged mindset.
Earlier in the year, the then-15-year-old had frantically texted his mother that he thought he was being chased by a demon, including believing items were being flung across the room.
After his desperate attempts at getting his mother’s attention were ignored, Ethan texted her: ‘At least text me back…’
Prosecutors said the teenager’s antics were evidence of him losing his grasp on reality and were a cry for help, however Jennifer tried to downplay the episode in her testimony.
The testimony was scathed online by many for her callous response to certain pieces of evidence, as she
claimed that Ethan’s warnings were typical of her ‘sarcastic’ son ‘fooling around’, and quipped that he named the specter in their home ‘Boris Johnson.’
‘He’s been convinced our house has been haunted since 2015,’ she added.
The lack of many mentions of her son’s victims also became a point of contention for many of those who watched the jury as it was live streamed to millions.
Police say Crumbley’s first victim was freshman Phoebe Arthur (pictured), who was shot in the face but miraculously survived. A total of 13 people were shot, four of whom died
Madisyn Baldwin, 17, (left) and Hana St Juliana, 14, (right) died in the 2021 shooting rampage at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit
Justin Shilling, 17, (left) and Tate Myre, 16, (right) were also killed in the senseless shooting
As evidence turned to Crumbley’s actions on the day of the mass shooting, she faced scrutiny over her decision not to withdraw Ethan from school after being brought in for an alarming meeting.
That morning, a teacher found disturbing drawings and writings on his homework, where he scrawled ‘the thoughts won’t stop, help me’, alongside depictions of mass shootings.
With a handgun bought by his father stashed in his backpack, the parents declined to take him home – with Jennifer’s claim she was too busy at work refuted in testimony from her boss, who testified that she would have been allowed to take care of her disturbed son.
Crumbley’s secret lover, local fire captain Brian Meloche, also claimed she wanted to meet up that morning, and said they had been meeting regularly in a parking lot across from her work.
After leaving Ethan at the school, she claimed in her testimony the first inkling she had that something was wrong came when she received a text from her son saying ‘I love you’ – a rare show of emotion that she found to be ‘abnormal.’
Jurors at the involuntary manslaughter trial of Jennifer Crumbley were shown disturbing drawings by mass shooter son Ethan hours before he opened fire at Oxford High school, killing four
When reports of a school shooter rocked the town of Oxford, Michigan, Jennifer said she raced home to find the gun and bullets were missing.
In her callous testimony, she said she feared her son was the shooter – but added that her main concern was that he could commit suicide.
She texted him ‘Ethan, don’t do it’, but said she wasn’t referencing the shooting, but rather that she didn’t want him to turn the gun on himself.
‘I didn’t believe that he even shot anybody, just that there was gunfire,’ she added.
In the days following the shooting, the couple appeared to try and flee as police sought them for questioning. Jennifer’s attorney argued she was not trying to escape custody, but was fearing for her life after threats were allegedly made following her son’s crime.
However, it was revealed Thursday that she and her husband had emptied their son’s bank account immediately after, withdrawing $3,000 and leaving just 99 cents inside.
They also withdrew another $6,000 from two other accounts, according to testimony from Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Timothy Willis.
The couple stayed at several hotels and bought new phones, after theirs had been seized by investigators, before eventually hiding out in an art studio in Detroit.
Attorney Shannon Smith (right) erupted in her closing arguments as she likened the Oxford mass shooting to hypothetical scenarios of her children murdering people with kitchen knives