‘My son ruined so many lives,’ Ethan Crumbley’s mother wrote on day of Michigan school shooting
A teenager “ruined so many lives” by opening fire on a Michigan school, the suspect’s mother said hours after the fatal shooting, a witness said Tuesday.
Oakland County prosecutors have revealed a series of emails sent by the parents of accused killer Ethan Crumbley, as authorities hope to show his mother and father should be tried and possibly held criminally responsible for the November 30 assault at Oxford High School.
“My son has ruined so many lives,” Jennifer Crumbley wrote in a Facebook post, according to testimony from the mother’s friend, Kira Pennock.
Their son, Ethan Crumbley, 15, is accused of shooting dead four people at his high school. The teenager is being charged as an adult and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
His parents are accused of ignoring the warning signs of their son’s potential violence and not doing enough to keep him away from guns in the house. They pleaded not guilty to four counts of manslaughter.
Pennock, who owns a farm that houses Crumbley’s horses, testified that Jennifer Crumbley knew her son was troubled long before the shooting.
“She said he had no friends,” Pennock said. “She thought it was weird that he didn’t do things like a normal kid.”
Oakland County Sheriff’s Detective Edward Wagrowski showed a series of text messages Ethan Crumbley sent his mother in March last year saying their house was haunted.
The investigator said he found no electronic evidence that either parent responded to Ethan’s claims that supernatural forces were responsible for the clothes and other items flying off the shelves.
“He said the house was haunted and he had videos and a photo of the demon,” Wagrowski said.
A day filled with dramatic testimony reached an emotional crescendo in the afternoon when a handcuffed Jennifer Crumbley, wearing a mask and black-and-white striped prison gear, broke down in tears as prosecutors played an appeal to the 911 from her husband to the police on the day of the shooting.
After the shooting began, James Crumbley called the police to report that a gun was missing from their home and he feared his son was the shooter.
Jennifer Crumbley’s lawyer, Shannon Smith, wiped tears from her client’s face, running her hand around the defendant’s glasses and mask.
Before the start of testimony on Tuesday, a judge barred the parents from making any gestures or communicating with each other in court, saying they were “disruptive” and “disrespectful”.
Prosecutors had complained that Jennifer and James Crumbley allegedly uttered the words “I love you” during in-person and virtual hearings on December 14 and January 7.
District Court Judge Julie Nicholson warned the defendants of any communication between them during the court session.
“Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley, this is a legal proceeding,” Nicholson told the defendants as they sat at the defense table, separated by two defense attorneys.
“While I may be looking away or someone else is looking away, you must have no communication with each other. It’s disruptive. It’s disrespectful.”
Testimony on Tuesday also appeared to reveal that Jennifer Crumbley was very worried about losing her job after the shooting.
She was working as a marketing director for a property management company at the time of filming. And her boss, Andrew Smith, recalled on Tuesday the cry of anguish he heard from the accused when she learned of the shooting.
Crumbley left the office, then called and texted Smith later saying his son was the shooter, Smith told the court.
“‘I need my job, please don’t judge me for what my son has done,'” Smith said, recounting a text message from Jennifer Crumbley.
“I was surprised by this message. I was surprised that she was worried about her job at the time. I thought she would be more worried about what was going on.”
The company’s human resources director, Kathy Poliquin, also recalled hearing Jennifer Crumbley on the day of the shooting, pleading with bosses not to be fired and to get back to work.
“She thought maybe she could come back a few days later, maybe half a day, to clear her mind,” Poliquin said. “We said, ‘No, you’re on administrative leave. Don’t worry about getting into work. We’ll talk about that in a few weeks. “”
Poliquin told the court that their company provides paid time off for employees to travel to family emergencies or medical appointments.
The human resources manager said she did not recall Jennifer Crumbley taking time off to take Ethan for medical treatment, but she was concerned about the health of his horses.
The court day ended with Detective Wagrowski still going through volumes of messages introduced by prosecutors.
The judge requested a stay and ordered all parties to return to court on February 24.