James Crumbley at an advantage despite wife's guilty verdict, attorneys say

A jury found Jennifer Crumbley guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday following her trial in Oakland County court. 

Jennifer could face up to 15 years in prison for her son's murder of four students on Nov. 30, 2021 at Oxford High School. She is the first parent of a mass shooter to be charged and convicted in connection with their child's crime.

Attorney Lillian Diallo, who has been following the case, weighed in on what may have persuaded the jury's decision.

"It was the meeting. I don’t think they would have been charged but for the meeting right before that shooting happened," Diallo said. "At that point, you’re in the best position as the parent in the room, you know he has access to a gun because you gifted it to him."

Diallo is referring to Jennifer and James Crumbley's 11-minute meeting with the school counselor the morning of the school shooting. The parents were called to the school regarding their son's concerning drawings on assignments. The counselor told both James and Jennifer Crumbley that he wanted them to get their son help "today, if possible." They left him at school that day because they said they had work.

When Jennifer took the stand, she said the counselor "told us that he didn't feel my son was a risk and actually gave him the option if he wanted to stay at school or go home… My son wanted to stay at school."

Hours later, the shooter opened fire. 

Diallo said Jennifer's verdict will set a precedent for future school shooting cases. And although Jennifer was found guilty, James is awaiting trial and may still be found innocent.

"I have more sympathy for him. I just felt he was in a space where he couldn’t even get himself up out of the bed," Diallo said. "He was doing the best he can, he’s door dashing, he might have had depression – or not. And I don’t know if he got that picture right before that meeting… that mom got on the email, because they said they sent it to mom."

James will take the stand in March during his own involuntary manslaughter trial. Here's when the trial is expected to start.


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Jennifer Crumbley was found guilty on all charges related to the Oxford High School Shooting.

"Mr Crumbley sits in a more advantageous position to know what his direction may be," said Attorney Todd Perkins. "His waters wouldn't be as uncharted as… his wife’s."

Perkins said he expects Jennifer’s case will be appealed, potentially escalating to the level of federal court involvement.

When it comes to James' trial, Perkins thinks Tuesday's verdict will still have a major impact.

"The transcripts from this case are going to have to be produced. Can they be produced in enough time for Mr. Crumbley’s case to go forward?" Perkins said. Both the attorney representing James, and the prosecution, will need to "review" the transcripts.


James Crumbley trial: When will it begin? And what else is known

James Crumbley, the father of the Oxford school shooter, is set to face his trial in the coming weeks. Here’s everything that’s known so far.