Jennifer Crumbley trial: What to know about Day 6 after shooter's mom takes the stand

Jennifer Crumbley took the stand Thursday, kicking off the defense’s case on day six of her trial for four counts of involuntary manslaughter from the Oxford High School shooting. 

After testifying about the months, days, and moments leading up to the Oxford High School shooting, she was asked if she would do anything differently as a parent, Crumbley said no. But she told the court: "I wish he would've killed us instead."

Here’s what else happened on Day 6. 

Jennifer Crumbley takes the stand at her criminal trial

Shooter wanted help, but said ‘my parents won’t listen’ 

Lt. Timothy Willis, the officer in charge of the shooting investigation, testified about what was found in the shooter's backpack, including troubling journal entries from the shooter about his mental state. He became emotional throughout his testimony, tearing up several times when asked to review video of the shooting and its aftermath. 

After the shooting, the shooter's backpack was found inside a bathroom. Inside that backpack were about 90 loose pieces of paper and school assignments, along with a journal.

"Over 50 (pieces of paper) had drawings of firearms on them," Willis said.

The journal was full of writings about school shootings and included several disturbing statements about his mental state at the time: 

  • "I have zero help for my mental problems and it's causing me to shoot up the F*cking school"
  • "I want help but my parents won't listen to me and I can't get help."
  • "My parents won't listen to me about help or a therapist"
  • "I want to shoot up the f*cking school so badly. Soon I am going to buy a 9mm pistol"

Crumbleys drain shooter’s savings account 

Willis also testified about the search for the Crumbley parents after his team learned of the charges being announced by the prosecutor. Prosecutors showed the jury a receipt for the purchase of a Trac phone as well as a hotel stay.

The investigation later revealed they stayed at an Extended Stay America suite in Auburn Hills. They checked in on Dec. 1 and checked out on Dec. 3, the day charges were announced. A vehicle owned by them was later found in the parking lot of the hotel. 

Evidence Willis reviewed at trial shows the Crumbleys took out $3,000 from their son's bank account on the day of the shooting. Only $0.99 was left. 

There were also multiple cash withdrawals for thousands of dollars by the Crumbley parents. They pulled out $2,000 from banks twice on Dec. 2. They later took out $4,000 on Dec. 3,the day they were charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to bank records shown to the jury.

Defense tries to ‘open door’ on more journal entries, judge says no

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Matthews (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Judge Cheryl Matthews had previously ruled that most of the shooter’s journal entries are inadmissible, but defense attorney Shannon Smith tried Thursday to get more of the journal entries admitted in her cross-examination of Willis. It’s the third time this week that Smith tried to readmit evidence that had previously been ruled inadmissible. 

RELATED: Jennifer Crumbley attorney tries ‘opening door’ on more of shooter's journal, judge rejects

"I am trying to very much protect any potential public record and I do not want to delve into this journal. I think that would do nothing more than hurt Mrs. Crumbley, severely. It's highly prejudicial," Matthews ruled.

Jennifer Crumbley takes the stand

Jennifer Crumbley took the stand as the defense’s first witness after the prosecution rested its case. 

Crumbley testified that her son never asked her for a therapist or help for his mental health, despite text messages from the shooter to his friend saying he wanted help for his mental crisis. 

She said her son sometimes had anxiety about his future or about taking a test in school, but she didn’t witness any real behavior or disciplinary problems. She said one time she called a counselor at the school to go through some future planning. "It was more addressing what was upsetting my son at the time."

"The fact that he didn't know what he wanted to do. His grades weren't that great. So he was stressed out about getting into college. He just, he was just having a hard time with his future goals," she testified.

While information between school officials was being passed around about the shooter's behavior in class and some disturbing answers he'd given on assignments, Jennifer Crumbley testified she was never contacted about the issues. 

"I'd be definitely concerned," she said.

But when asked about messages from her son saying he was hearing and seeing strange things while home alone, she said she wasn’t concerned. 

"He was just messing with us," she said. 

RELATED: Jennifer Crumbley testifies that son thought house was haunted, says she wasn't worried about demon texts

Crumbley dismissed messages from her son about demons, saying he had always thought their house was haunted. 

She testified that she didn't know about her son and James Crumbley's visit to the gun store until after it happened. She said she didn't deal with guns most of the time and that she let her husband handle them. He was responsible for storing the firearms in the house.  

Crumbley also gave her version of what happened in the 11-minute meeting she and James Crumbley had with their son and a school counselor the morning of Nov. 30, 2021, hours before the shooter opened fire. 

"He 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," she said. "My son wanted to stay at school."

"He said being around peers usually helps so we all agreed to that. My son gets very stressed out and he does virtual school. So we agreed that it might stress him out more to do his school remotely the rest of the day. But there was never a time where I would refuse to take him home. I could easily, if he wanted to go, take him with me. I had no issues with that."

Jennifer Crumbley said the counselor gave them a stack of papers with the names of counselors on them. She said she gave them to her husband to start calling that afternoon after he finished his DoorDash deliveries. 

She said she doesn’t recall "abruptly" ending the meeting like the counselor does, only that the meeting ended naturally and she went back to work. 

Crumbley later recalled the moments after hearing there was an active shooter and joining a caravan of law enforcement heading to the school before getting a call from James Crumbley.

"At that point, my mind went to, we can handle injuries. I went into kind of like, go now, like what do we have to do. My son's arrested … I did not think there would be any fatalities … I didn't think there would be injuries. I didn't think of anything, but I just went into that mode like we can handle it, we can handle injuries and we can figure this out and go from there."

On Dec. 3, 2021, the day Jennifer and James Crumbley were charged, their failure to appear at an afternoon arraignment sparked a massive manhunt.

Jennifer testified that after learning they were charged, they consulted with their attorney, defense attorney Shannon Smith, and planned to turn themselves in the next day.

"I was not aware that we could go to court that afternoon. I was just waiting on direction from you," she told her attorney in court.

Jennifer said she and James Crumbley checked out of the extended stay hotel where they were staying, then went to the art studio where they would later be arrested. They each took four Xanax before going to sleep sometime around 11 p.m. Police found and detained them a couple of hours later. 

Her attorney asked if she would do anything differently as a parent, to which Crumbley said no. But she told the court: "I wish he would've killed us instead."

Prosecutors will cross-examine Jennifer Crumbley on Friday. The trial resumes at 8:30 a.m. 

What is Jennifer Crumbley charged with?

Jennifer Crumbley testifies during her defense on involuntary ma

Jennifer Crumbley is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count for each student killed by her son at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. 

Her husband, James Crumbley, is also facing the same charges and is expected to go to trial after Jennifer's trial is complete.

What did Jennifer Crumbley do?

The prosecution argues that Jennifer and James ignored their son's mental health and even bought him a gun before the Oxford High School shooting. 

Jennifer's attorney maintains that her client knew nothing about guns and was not involved in purchasing the weapon. Receipts provided in court show that James bought the gun, and the shooter admitted during his plea hearing that he gave James money to buy the firearm. Video from a gun range showed Jennifer shooting a gun with her son, but her lawyer claims she didn't know what she was doing.

Journal entries detailing the shooter's mental state have been presented in court, but Jennifer's defense argues that there is no evidence Jennifer knew about this writing.

Witnesses called by the prosecution during the trial have also described a meeting between the Crumbley parents and school officials the morning of the shooting. The parents were called after violent drawings were discovered on their son's schoolwork. 

During this meeting, a school counselor told the parents to get their son mental health help as soon as possible and recommended that they take him home from school. However, the parents chose not to take him home.

Jennifer Crumbley's trial so far

Read recaps of each day of testimony below:

Day 1: Oxford teacher, assistant principal testify

Day 2: Messages between shooter, parents shown

Day 3: Parents' first police interview shown

Day 4: Ex-Oxford High School dean questioned, Crumbley's colleagues testify 

Day 5: Extramarital affair revealed, arrest video shown