From the blog

DUTY OF CARE: Mother Of School Shooter Found Guilty Of Manslaughter

The mother of a school shooter who killed four students at a school in the US has been convicted in a landmark case.

Jennifer Crumbley, 45, was found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter and faces 15 years in prison for each charge.

Her son Ethan was 15 when he opened fire at Oxford High School, in Michigan in November 2021, killing 14-year-old Hana St Juliana, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, and 17-year-old Justin Shilling and injuring seven other people.

The first-of-its-kind case against Jennifer Crumbley was brought by prosecutors who said she had a duty to prevent her son from harming others. She was, they said, grossly negligent and could have foreseen the violence.

Ms Crumbley was also accused of failing to secure a gun and ammunition at her home and failing to get help for her son’s mental health issues.

James Crumbley, 47, bought their son the gun, a 9mm handgun, he used in the shooting, prosecutors said, even though he was too young to own his own gun under state law.

The weapon was purchased four days earlier – apparently as a Christmas present – and was “freely available” to the teenager.

He brought the weapon to school on the day of the shooting, though no one checked his rucksack.

Ethan is said to have posted images of the gun used in the shooting on social media, writing: “Just got my new beauty today” and adding a heart emoji, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said during the trial.

Mrs Crumbley posted the next day that they were “testing out his new Christmas present”.

They were also found guilty of ignoring warning signs before their son’s rampage, such as drawings found at his school desk, prosecutors said.

On the day of the shooting, a teacher had found a note on Ethan’s desk with a drawing of a gun pointing at the words “the thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”

They took a photo of the note, which also included a drawing of a person who had been shot twice with the words “blood everywhere”, “my life is useless” and “the world is dead” on it.

Mr and Mrs Crumbley were called in to the school at 10am and, when they left, Ethan went back to class, carrying the weapon in a backpack, investigators said.

The shooting happened around 1pm.

His parents were charged a few days later, after police found them, they said, “hiding in a building in Detroit”.

In December last year, Ethan Crumbley was jailed for life without parole after pleading guilty to murder, terrorism and other charges.

At his sentencing, he told a judge that he was a “really bad person” who could not stop himself.

James Crumbley is scheduled to go on trial in March on the same charges as his wife.