Ms. Crumbley’s trial is a landmark case, marking the first time a parent has been charged and tried for their alleged role in a mass school shooting.
He has pleaded not guilty to the four counts of involuntary manslaughter he faces.
Her husband, James Crumbley, will be tried separately in March on the same charges. Both have pleaded not guilty.
From an extramarital affair to Taylor Swift quotes, here are the key revelations from Ms. Crumbley’s trial so far:
The trial got off to an interesting start when Ms. Crumbley’s lawyer, Shannon Smith, cited Taylor Swift’s song “Bad Blood” in her opening statement. Ms. Smith said this case was about the prosecution “trying to put a Band-Aid on problems that can’t be fixed with a Band-Aid.”
“A Band-Aid will never bring back the lives that were lost,” he added.
The defense attorney also insisted that Ethan’s mental condition was “not on his radar,” but also described her as a “hypervigilant” mother. Mrs. Smith also emphasized Mr. Crumbley’s love of guns and blamed the school.
The prosecution, by contrast, argued in its opening statement that Mrs. Crumbley was well aware of her son’s “deteriorating mental health.”
Despite this, she and her husband bought him a gun and took him to a shooting range. While she was there, the defense said, her son showed him how to use the gun.
“Jennifer Crumbley didn’t pull the trigger that day. But she is responsible for their deaths,” said Oakland County Deputy Prosecutor Marc Keast.
Just before opening statements, there was also a dramatic moment in the courtroom when Ms. Crumbley’s friend was thrown out of the courtroom.
Oakland County Deputy Prosecutor Marc Keast announced that Megan Imirowicza convicted murderer who befriended Mrs Crumbley in prison, was in court despite being called as a witness.
Chilling images of the shooting played in court
Ms. Crumbley broke down in tears as the court was shown a video of her 15-year-old son pointing his gun at teachers and classmates at his high school.
The defendant’s sobs sparked a heated exchange between the attorneys.
The prosecution took issue with Crumbley’s (and his attorney Smith’s) response to the images, arguing that they were not following the court’s instructions to try to maintain composure.
“He is concerned about the influence of the jury. I do not have any problem with that. But it was a difficult thing and we are doing it,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald told the judge. “And then having not only the defendant, but also her attorney sobbing.”
Mrs. Smith chimed in: “I didn’t cry.” She told the judge that this footage is not relevant to her client’s case and added that her team had never seen it before.
“We weren’t sobbing or making a scene. I still have all my eye makeup on,” she said.
“We are all human here,” said Judge Cheryl Matthews, stressing that she is “fighting for a fair trial.” The judge added: “I am not a robot. I’m trying to stop myself from sobbing. “I’ll do it tonight at six.”
Video shows arrest of Crumley parents
The court was shown police body camera footage from the early hours of December 4, 2021, capturing the moment authorities burst into a dark, industrial-looking room to arrest a sleeping Jennifer and James Crumbley on a mattress on the floor.
The day before, the Crumleys had been asked to surrender to the authorities.
When a chase ensued, they were tracked to Ms. Crumbley’s friend’s artist studio.
In the video, the officers are seen pointing their guns at the couple.
“Let me see these hands!” the officers shout.
Mr. Crumbley is heard screaming and apparently struggling to stay on his feet. “Stand!” an officer yells at him. When the officers ask him his name, he says “James.” When pressed “James what?”, he responds with an exhausted “Crumbley.”
Body camera footage then shows a fleet of officers investigating the room.
Admission to police interview.
On the morning of the shooting, school staff became increasingly concerned after finding Ethan’s drawing, which depicted a semi-automatic gun pointed at the words “the thoughts won’t stop, help me.”
Crumbley’s parents were called to meet with school staff and their son to discuss it.
While they had the option of keeping Ethan in school or taking him home, the parents opted to have him return to class. He shot up his school hours later.
A videotaped interview in the hours after the shooting shows investigators asking the parents about this meeting.
Crumbley says his son was “scribbling on a test or a practice test,” apparently referring to the disturbing drawing, when Crumbley interrupts: “I think we should probably have a lawyer.”
Mr. Crumbley then says, “I think we can talk to the police.”
Later in the interview, Ms. Crumbley is seen telling police that the school counselor “didn’t seem concerned” about the drawing and that Ethan could stay at school or his parents could take him home.
“And I really wish we would take him home,” she is heard admitting.
Crumbley also says at the beginning of the interview that he is “scared” and asks for some water.
She later tells police that her 15-year-old son is a “great kid” and adds that he “doesn’t get in trouble at school.”
When an officer tells the parents they will have to talk to Ethan, an emotional Mrs. Crumbley is heard asking, “Why?… He’s never done anything wrong.”
The interview also revealed that Ethan had sent his mother a text message, telling her he loved her, shortly before opening fire on his classmates.
During the interview, Crumbley also shares details with police about where his son got the gun.
He says the gun was hidden in a gun holster in a closet and that the bullets were “in a completely different place under some jeans.”
Brian Meloche, an old friend of Crumbley’s who had an affair with her in 2021, took the stand and told the court about his relationship with the convicted shooter’s mother.
After his son opened fire inside the school, Crumbley texted Meloche telling him the massacre “could have been avoided,” according to a message revealed in court.
In separate messages, she described the school’s response to Ethan’s disruptive behavior, such as drawing a doodle of a mass shooting or searching for ammunition online, as “indifferent.”
Even though both of Crumbley’s parents allegedly claimed they had jobs to return to and therefore couldn’t take him out of school the morning of the shooting, Crumbley sent Meloche a message saying he could meet with him, he testified.
The text messages also revealed that Ms. Crumbley said she wished the school had not allowed her to stay at school.
Meloche also told the court that Crumbley told him on the day of the shooting that he realized the gun was missing from his home. He suggested she contact the police, he said.
He also sent her a text message saying: “I failed as a mother, I failed miserably.”
In addition to her affair with Mr. Meloche, during questioning of Ms. Crumbley it emerged that she had been using the site AdultFriendFinder.
The website describes it as “the world’s largest adult dating and social network.” She did not deny speaking to other people on the website, but no further details about those conversations were revealed.
‘I wish he had killed us’
Mrs. Crumbley took the stand to testify in her own defense.
His voice shook as he talked about the day of the shooting.
“I couldn’t believe he had shot someone at the school,” he said, adding that the whole situation seemed “surreal.”
“That was the hardest thing I ever had to endure: having my son hurt and kill other people,” Crumbley said, stumbling over the last words and speaking them softly.
Although he spent most of his time on the stand Thursday making direct eye contact with his attorney or the jury, when he mentioned the shooting of his son, he looked down, avoiding eye contact with anyone.
His lawyer also asked if Ms. Crumbley thought her son was a danger to others. She said: “As a parent, you spend your entire life trying to protect your child from other dangers. “You would never think you would have to protect your child from hurting someone else.”
The 45-year-old woman was then asked if she considered herself a victim. She said no because she didn’t want to “disrespect those families who really are the victims.” She then added: “We lost a lot.”
In the final moments of the defense’s questioning Thursday, he was asked if he could change what happened if he could. Mrs Crumley said: “Oh, absolutely. I wish he had killed us.”