Jennifer Crumbley trial: Jury ends Day 1 of deliberations without verdict

Deliberations began Monday in Jennifer Crumbley's involuntary manslaughter trial after seven days of testimony.

Jennifer and her husband James were both charged in connection with the death of four students at Oxford High School. Their son, who committed the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting, was sentenced to life in prison last year. It is the first time a parent has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a mass shooting committed by their child.

4:36 p.m. - Jury sent home without reaching verdict

The judge sent the jury home late Monday afternoon after they failed to reach a verdict during the first day of deliberations. They'll return at 9 a.m. to continue working toward a decision.

Three of the alternate jurors were selected by random to be sequestered to their home, rather than return to the courthouse on Tuesday.

1:40 p.m. - Jury returns with another question

The jury has been deliberating for about 3 hours and returned with another question about evidence – and what they can discuss as it pertains to the case.

The question, specifically, is how the shooter got the gun. We know that James bought the gun for him on the Friday before the shooting and the gun was at the house Sunday before the shooting as well.

The jury was debating what they could infer about evidence that wasn't shown. 

The jury was summoned into the courtroom where they were re-read instructions about only to use evidence and testimony admitted in the trial. 

12:33 p.m. Jury's first question

A little more than two hours after getting the case, the jury returned with a question about the two theories the prosecution is using to prove involuntary manslaughter.

Simply put, the first question had to do with the definition of involuntary manslaughter. The prosecution can prove involuntary manslaughter in two ways. One, if Jennifer Crumbley was grossly negligent in doing certain things, and two, if Jennifer Crumbley was grossly negligent in not doing certain things.

The judge answered the question and referred jurors to the original instructions.

9:50 a.m. – Jury of 12 settled, alternates sequestered

After 40 minutes of jury instructions, Judge Cheryl Matthews drew lots to determine which five of the jury of 17 will go into sequestration and will not be part of deliberation. 

Jurors 17, 15, 10 9, and 4 were all selected at random to be the five alternates. They will be seated in a different jury room than the 12 jurors who will ultimately decide the fate of Jennifer. Those five jurors may not discuss the case - even among themselves - as they wait in the jury room.

The other 12 will start deliberating as soon as the evidence from the prosecution and defense is delivered to the jury room.

9:05 a.m. – Jennifer Crumbley arrives in court

Jennifer Crumbley and her attorney arrived in court just after 9 a.m. on Monday for the start of jury deliberations.

Attorneys listened to information from Judge Cheryl Matthews, who said that the gag order would remain in place through James' trial. The gag order was issued shortly after they were both arrested.

After a brief discussion, the jury came in and were read their final instructions – reminders that they are to use the evidence and testimony when making their decision.

The jury must make a decision based on the 7 days of testimony and evidence admitted in the case. They are not to use the information stated by the prosecution and defense based on their opening and closing statements.

Even though the charges are all the same, Matthews had to read each charged individually and explain to the jury the standards they must use to find a guilty verdict. Crumbley is presumed innocent until proven guilty – meaning if the jury finds her guilty, it must be done beyond a reasonable doubt.


Jennifer Crumbley trial: Mom of Oxford shooter takes stand in her defense

Jennifer Crumbley testified during her trial for involuntary manslaughter. Here's everything she said.

Now, the jury will decide if Jennifer was grossly negligent before the crime and should be punished for it.

Jennifer and James have been accused of ignoring their son's mental health and then buying him the gun used at Oxford.

During the testimony, numerous witnesses took the stand, including school officials and Jennifer's boss. 

Jennifer also took the stand and testified that she knew nothing about guns. She also said she didn't see signs that her son may have been having mental health issues. When presented with text messages her son sent her about demons and the family's home being haunted - evidence the prosecution say shows she knew of his mental state - Jennifer said she thought he was messing around.

Her defense argues that there is no way Jennifer could have known that her son was planning to shoot up his school.

A jury of 17, of which five will be alternates, was selected more than a week ago. On Friday, Judge Cheryl Matthews said all 17 would return to court at 9 a.m. Monday, and they would draw lots to see which five would not make up the jury that will ultimately decide Jennifer's fate.

But those five will not be excused. Instead, those five will remain sequestered in a separate jury room. The alternates will need to remain ready to deliberate the case.

What is Jennifer Crumbley charged with?

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

Day 6: Jennifer Crumbley takes the stand

Day 7: Closing arguments

Watch FOX 2 News Live