The jailed mom of a Michigan high school shooter is now blaming her husband, prosecutors say

James Crumbley, right, looks towards his wife Jennifer Crumbley during a court hearing in Rochester Hills, Mich., Dec. 14, 2021.
James Crumbley, right, looks at his wife, Jennifer Crumbley, during a court hearing.Carlos Osorio/AP Photo
  • The parents of a Michigan school shooter are facing involuntary manslaughter charges.

  • Prosecutors say James and Jennifer Crumbley allowed their son access to a gun before he killed four people in 2021.

  • Jennifer Crumbley is now blaming it on her husband, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors say Jennifer Crumbley might try to place all the blame on her husband during their upcoming manslaughter trial, court records show.

Jennifer and her husband, James Crumbley, are both facing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the Oxford High School shooting, which left four students dead in November 2021.

The couple's teenage son pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism charges related to the shooting in October 2022 and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8.

In one of the first cases of its kind, the parents are accused of making a firearm too easily accessible to their son and ignoring warning signs that he was depressed. Both parents face up to 60 years in prison if convicted.

In a Monday court filing, prosecutors said that Jennifer Crumbley may attempt to blame her husband during their trial, which is set to begin in January, nearly two years after a judge had to ask the couple to stop mouthing "I love you" to each other in court.

"Defendant James Crumbley should be aware of the fact that defendant Jennifer Crumbley has placed blame on him in jail communications," prosecutors wrote. The prosecution did not elaborate on the referenced jail communications, which could include monitored phone calls or conversations with other inmates, among other interactions.

James and Jennifer Crumbley each have their own attorney, but they will go to trial together with a joint defense. Prosecutors have noted in previous hearings this could cause a conflict of interest.

In the recent filing, prosecutors said the "joint defense aspect" of the case could give Crumbley's attorneys difficulty with making certain arguments, cross-examination, and potential negotiations.

In previous court filings, attorneys for the Crumbleys have accused prosecutors of "trying to create a rift" between the couple and their attorneys, making it appear to the public that the "Crumbleys are not united," according to The Detroit Free Press.

According to the outlet, prosecutors raised the issue of the potential for conflict of interest caused by the Crumbleys' separate attorneys in emails last week. In response, Jennifer Crumbley's attorney filed an emergency motion asking the court to order prosecutors to privately disclose the reason for their concern, the Free Press reported.

"The prosecution knows very well that any filing by attorneys in this case are almost immediately picked up by the media and lead to inflammatory articles about the Crumbleys," the filing says. "There is no reason, other than gamesmanship by the prosecution, that the defense should not be made aware of the alleged basis to believe any conflict issue exists."

Shannon Smith, an attorney for Jennifer Crumbley, did not immediately return a request for comment from Insider.

The potential for conflict between the Crumbleys has arisen before.

Amanda Holland, a former coworker of Jennifer Crumbley, testified at a pretrial hearing in February 2022 that the mother was involved in an extramarital relationship throughout 2021 and that she would sneak away from work often to meet someone in a Costco parking lot.

Defense attorneys for the Crumbleys tried to keep evidence of that infidelity out of the courtroom. As a result, the judge limited the prosecutor's ability to show some evidence of extramarital affairs in separate decisions in June 2022 and November 2022, according to court documents.

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