Jury reaches guilty verdicts in trial of Jennifer Crumbley

Posted at 9:46 PM, Feb 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 13:43:12-05

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — Just after 1:00 p.m. on the second day of deliberations, the jury announced in the trial of Jennifer Crumbley that they had reached a verdict.

A short time later it was announced the jury had found her guilty on all four involuntary manslaughter charges she was facing. She is now facing 15 years in prison.

The first day of deliberations in the manslaughter trial against the mother of the Oxford High School shooter came to a close with no verdict. She's facing four counts, one for each of the students killed in November 2021.

The jury met for hours on Monday discussing the evidence, bringing two questions to the judge as many Oxford families wait for the verdict.

Craig Shilling is the father of Justin Shilling, one of the students killed in the shooting. He was at the courthouse Monday during deliberations.

“The precedent setting nature of this case, it shouldn't be surmised in one hour of deliberation,” Craig Shilling said.

While painfully waiting, Craig Shilling is also understanding as to why deliberations will continue for a second day.

Justin Shilling's father, Craig, speaks on Jennifer Crumbley trial

"I hope that they’re taking their time and looking at all the evidence and making the right decision," Craig Shilling said.

The jury deliberated all day, bringing two questions to the judge including asking whether or not they could make assumptions as to why the shooter himself never took the stand.

“Number one, it tells you the jury is taking the case very seriously," federal criminal defense attorney Michael Bullotta said. "They’re spending the time to go through the evidence.”

Bullotta is a former federal prosecutor and is now a defense attorney. He’s not affiliated with the case but has followed it closely.

“This could set a precedent," Bullotta said. "It's more than just this case. There’s a lot more at stake.”

Bullotta was not surprised deliberations lasted all day and thinks it will take most of day two as well.

“You don't really ever know which way it's going to go, but I would say in this case if the jurors have this all figured out and it wasn't complicated, they would have a quicker verdict,” Bullotta said. “What this case all boils down to is were there enough red flags visible to Jennifer Crumbley that would make her foresee that her son would be a school shooter, and I think it's so incredibly difficult to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt."

While Bullotta himself feels it will be tough to bring a conviction based on the evidence he’s seen, the outcome relies solely on the jurors who will continue to take their time with the goal of making unanimous decision.

"This trial should capture the heart of every parent in America and at a very minimum affect the choices we make or do not make in regards to our children," Craig Shilling said. "I believe in the very least, the fact this trial has even gone on and attracted the attention of so many, it has effectively shed some light on many levels... The level of our own responsibilities is not limited to just our direct actions. The choices we make to not take action could ultimately affect the course of anyone's life and carries with it potential repercussions."