PONTIAC, Mich. (Court TV) — A panel of six men and six women deliberated for about 10 hours over two days before finding Jennifer Crumbley guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter for each of the victims shot to death by her son Ethan.
The jury forewoman, one of the youngest on the panel who appeared to be in her late 20s, gave a reassuring smile and nod in the direction of Justin Shilling’s parents in the gallery before she left the jury box and disappeared into the restricted hallway leading out of the courtroom.
Crumbley swiped her lips with lip balm, as she did frequently during the trial, and remained stoic as the jury foreperson pronounced “guilty” four times. She looked down and was silent as she was escorted in shackles passed a bank of photographers after the verdict.
Prosecutors did not comment, citing the gag order, which will remain in effect until after the trial of Jennifer’s husband, James Crumbley, who faces a March trial date. Prosecutors and investigators shook hands with family members as they expressed their thanks before exiting the courtroom.
Outside the courtroom, Justin Shilling’s father, Craig, addressed reporters.
“The cries have been heard I feel this verdict will echo through every household in the country,” said Shilling, whose son Justin, 17, was the last life the shooter claimed before he surrendered to police. “It’s got to stop. We have to address the root cause. There’s more to do. We know now we will be held responsible. It’s a milestone and it feels like it.”
Steve St. Juliana, Hana’s father, spoke to Court TV’s Kelly Krapf and expressed his relief with the verdict.
“As much as she (Jennifer) talked about a loving family, it didn’t match with her actions. I think the jury saw that,” he said.
Tate Myre, 16, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, were also murdered in Ethan Crumbley’s shooting rampage.
Jurors were instructed to consider two theories of guilt for involuntary manslaughter: the first was that Crumbley was grossly negligent in storing the firearm and allowing her minor child access to it. The second theory was her gross negligence in failing or neglecting her legal duty to prevent her minor child from harming others.
The jury did not have to agree on which theory and could find her guilty using one or both theories.
Sentencing is set for April 9, she faces up to 15 years in prison.