PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A teenager described a plan to shoot up his Michigan school in a personal journal, writing that his parents wouldn’t listen to his pleas for help, according to evidence presented Thursday at his mother’s trial.
An investigator read portions of Ethan Crumbley’s journal moments before jurors watched a partial video of the shooting, which left four students dead at Oxford High School in 2021.
The audio was turned off. Unlike the jury, Jennifer Crumbley didn’t look at the screen and instead cried with her forehead resting on her hands. Victims’ relatives in the courtroom were also in tears.
Jennifer Crumbley, 45, is charged with involuntary manslaughter. She and husband James are accused of making a gun accessible at home and ignoring their son’s mental health needs.
“I have zero help for my mental problems and it’s causing me to shoot up the … school,” Ethan Crumbley, then 15, wrote in his journal.
“My parents won’t listen to me about help or therapist,” the boy said, adding that he would spend his life in prison and that “many people have about a day left to live.”
The Crumbleys are the first parents in the U.S. to be charged in a mass school shooting committed by their child. James Crumbley, 47, faces trial in March. Ethan, now 17, pleaded guilty and is serving a life prison sentence.
A meeting between school staff and the Crumbleys a few hours before the shooting has been a key point in the case.
The parents were presented with a disturbing drawing their son had scrawled on an assignment. It depicted a gun and bullet and the lines, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me. The world is dead. My life is useless.”
The school recommended that Ethan get help as soon as possible, but the Crumbleys declined to take him home, saying they needed to return to work. Their son stayed in school and later pulled a handgun from his backpack to fire at students.
Follow Ed White at https://twitter.com/edwritez
Brought to you by www.srnnews.com