Jennifer Crumbley: Defense attorney team predicts sentence, chance at her appeal

The jury spoke. Jennifer Crumbley was guilty on four counts of involuntary manslaughter. But how much of a sentence will she get?

On Wednesday, a day after the verdict, criminal attorneys from the Cripps and Silver Law Firm got out the guidelines to figure out what the judge could do.

"Multiple deaths occurred in a homicide case," said criminal attorney Gabi Silver. "Six (years) is kind of questionable, what you do think of six, Phil?"

In every Michigan criminal case, lawyers figure out guidelines for sentencing.

"I don’t think she’s going over the guidelines," said Silver.

"You don't?" said David Cripps. "This is an extraordinary case."

It may be an extraordinary case, but there are still guidelines. Generally speaking, the judge will look at Jennifer Crumbley’s past criminal history, which is none.

"Yeah, manslaughter is a C," Silver said.

Because she was convicted of four manslaughter charges, that makes this a class C offense.  And then there are a series of questions about the offense itself. Because four people were killed related to her actions, that’s going to put her in the highest category, according to the guidelines.

"Forty-three to 86 months," Silver said.  

"Isn’t that what I told you yesterday?" said attorney Phillip Comorski.

"Yes you did," Silver said.

This means the lowest mandatory sentence would be three years and seven months, and the highest - according to the guidelines - is seven years and two months.

But that may change in this case.

FOX 2: "Do you think the prosecutor is going to ask for over the guidelines?"

"Yes, I think the prosecutor will ask to go over the guidelines," Silver said.

But there is a max.

"She would get 10 to 15 (years), because the tail is always going to be 15," Silver said.

That means Jennifer Crumbley would have to do a mandatory 10 years in prison before she’d be eligible for parole. But the maximum will be 15 years if the judge sentenced above the guidelines - which this panel says is likely.

"Everybody can relate to it, everybody can relate to this kind of violence," Silver said. "It’s unnecessary, horrific violence.  You send your kids to school and you expect them to be safe. Then you get a call they’re being shot at school?"

A chance for an appeal?

Jennifer Crumbley will be sentenced April 9. It’s almost certain that Crumbley will appeal her conviction, but what are the issues on appeal?  

First, should the jury have seen the actual Oxford High School shooting video? The attorneys at Cripps and Silver say no.

"When the emotion takes over the courtroom, how are the jurors going to ignore that when coming to a decision," said Silver.

Next, the journal found in the shooter's backpack allegedly said that the shooter was reaching out for his parents, saying "I have zero help for my mental problems and it's causing me to shoot up the f****** school."

"The shooter never testified," Silver said. "He can’t be cross-examined about what does this mean, why were you writing this, is this true? The jury is forced to take it at face value at this point."

FOX 2: "What about the affairs?"

"I don’t know why in the world you would let that in," Silver said. "I really don't. You're trying to portray her as a good, hyper-vigilant parent. And you can’t let in all of this testimony that’s going to be damaging to her, under any circumstances."

And there may be other issues on appeal. But, what’s the chance that the jury’s guilty verdict would be overturned on appeal anyway?

"At the end of the day, most appeals are lost.  But this is a really novel case," Silver said. "So I think given the impact of this case, given the impact that it can have across-the-board to parents everywhere frankly, the courts are going to take a hard look at it."