Jennifer Crumbley's trial begins with opening statements, witness testimony

The trial for Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the Oxford High School shooter, began Thursday morning with opening statements in Judge Cheryl Matthews' courtroom in Pontiac. Below is a timeline of the first day of trial. 


If you'd like to read a recap of Day One, check out FOX 2's story here.

5 p.m. - Prosecution resumes cross-examination

The trial wrapped up day one with the end of the agent's testimony. Court will resume at 8: 30 a.m. Friday. 

4:10 p.m. - Defense starts cross-examination

The final question the prosecution asked the agent to identify the weapon that the shooter had drawn in class. He testified the drawing was similar to the Sig Sauer that had been purchased for him as a gift. 

The defense opened its questions for the agent about federal law governing if a minor can shoot at a target range and the safe storage law within one's home. Minors are allowed to participate at a gun range and there are no federal laws about storing one's firearm inside a home, he testified. 

The defense also asked about how the gun safe that held two of the family's firearms was found at the time of the search warrant. The agent did not find the gun lock that housed the two guns and wasn't present when law enforcement opened the safe, but confirmed it was opened using the combination 0-0-0. 

3:29 p.m. - Jennifer Crumbley takes son to shooting range

A video of the shooter's visit to a shooting range with his mom was played in court. Jennifer Crumbley was seen on video with her son handling ammunition, as well as holding the case that the gun that was purchased for the shooter was stored in. 

The weapon, which witnesses have testified was an early Christmas present for the shooter, was purchased the day before. 

The shooter later posted an image of the target he shot at, saying "Took my new Sig out to the range today. Definitely need to get used to the new sites lol." A separate image of a target with a bullseye shown in court that was posted by Jennifer read "Mom & son day testing out his new Xmas present. My first time shooting a 9 mm I hit the bullseye."


Jennifer Crumbley's Instagram post. 

The post also included an image of the Sig Sauer. 

2:57 p.m. - Shooter's Instagram post + break in trial

An Instragram post made by the shooter about the firearm his dad purchased for him was also shown in court. It included a caption "Just got my new beauty today. SIG SAUER 9mm. Ask any questions I will answer."

It's unclear if the post, which was made by an account owned by the shooter, was seen by Jennifer. She did follow the account, however. 

The post was made the day the gun was purchased. 


A social media post made by the shooter after James Crumbley purchased a firearm.

2:27 p.m. - Messages between James and Jennifer Crumbley

A string of messages between James and Jennifer Crumbley shows the two discussing purchasing a firearm for the shooter.

The agent said they were found on James' phone. The dialogue includes James saying he was taking his son to the gun store and Jennifer asking if "you get gun?" James responds that they had to wait.

Other messages between the Crumbley parents include a video of their son using the firearms at a firing range.

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Messages between James and Jennifer Crumbley discussing purchasing a firearm for the shooter.

There were multiple videos of the shooter testing out weapons at a shooting range, including some of the firearms that James had purchased over the summer. One of them was posted to Jennifer's social media, the agent testified. 

Another video that was filmed by the shooter holding a firearm was sent from the shooter's phone to his friend. The prosecution said it was evident the shooter had access to the firearm. The videos, which were taken from inside the home, were sent late at night. The video sent to the friend included a message that read "My dad left it out so I thought. ‘Why not’"

The agent responded "yes" when asked if it was concerning to him.

More evidence entered into court included Jennifer Crumbley texting that she was taking her son to the shooting range, as well as a receipt showing the two had visited a range. 

1:20 p.m. - Jury returns from lunch, prosecution calls law enforcement witness

A special agent with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in the federal government was called to testify next. The agent works in a region that includes Pontiac. He was also assigned to the Oxford shooting investigation. 

He told the prosecutor it took him 35 minutes to get to the school after being informed of an active shooter at Oxford. When the agent entered the school, responding officers were doing their second clear of the school. 

The first step the agent took was locate the weapon. It had been placed in a trash can, which is where the agent began tracing the weapon. He testified it took an hour to locate where the weapon had been sold. It was eventually traced to a gun store in Oxford and who it was sold to.

At that point, a search warrant was being written in connection to the Crumbley family's home. 


The firearm that was used Oxford High School shooting. It was admitted as evidence in the trial. 

From there, the agent testified he had identified the shooter and began creating a timeline of his whereabouts throughout the day. 

The prosecution also brought out two other weapons that were purchased by James Crumbley that were stored inside the household. The defense objected to the prosecution pointing out the nature of each weapon and the damage each could do. 

The agent noted the weapon used in the shooting was bigger than the other weapons that had been purchased.

"…there is no evidence to lay a foundation that my client knows anything about the deadly capability of these guns," the defense said.

From there, the prosecution brought out multiple mechanisms that are used to lock up firearms. Two of the other weapons owned by the Crumbleys that weren't used in the shooting were kept in one safe. It had a combination lock of 0-0-0.

The cable lock that came with the Sig Sauer when it was purchased appeared to be minimally used, the agent testified. 

The agent also testified to the mannerisms of the shooter at the time of the rampage. They appeared to have been trained to use a firearm or had been to a shooting range. His stance when firing the gun and the nature in which he loaded the gun were notable to the agent who watched the surveillance video. 

The day after the shooting, the agent testified learning the shooter may have been to the shooting range. The first one he called, the shooting range, located in Clarkston, Michigan, confirmed they had relevant information. 

From there, the agent obtained multiple receipts documenting visits to the range, including by Jennifer Crumbley. 

12:10 p.m. - Judge breaks for lunch

11:41 a.m. - Prosecution calls third witness

Cammy Back works at a retail firearms store in Oxford. She is the office manager of the store and assists with gun sales. 

She recalls selling the gun to James Crumbley and a person was with him. She would later learn it was his son and the shooter. She also testified to another sale that was made earlier in June, when James purchased another firearm. 

That purchase was delayed a day before it was approved. 


The record of the gun sale made by James Crumbley that the shooter would eventually use. 

Back also said it's against the store policy for one person to purchase a gun for another person without that individual being there. They wouldn't sell a firearm to a teenager, Banks testified. She also added a cable lock that was included with the firearm purchase made in November. 

In her first cross-examination of the day, the defense went through exhibits showing gun sales to James Crumbley. "Does Jennifer Crumbley's name appear anywhere on this receipt?" "No," Back testified. 

11:17 a.m. - Judge calls 10-minute break before tensions flare

The prosecutor also went on the record that she took issue with the defendant and the defense showing emotion. The previous video showing the shooter and one of the victims prompted the defense team to get upset. 

The defense said "it's horrific" that the prosecution would claim she was sobbing, further arguing the video wasn't relevant to the case. 

10:56 a.m. - Prosecution calls second witness

Kristy Gibson-Marshall was employed as the assistant principal at the high school at the time of the shooting. 

She retraced her steps that day, including the moments that escalated to her realizing an active shooter was in the school. As she walked the school, she came across a victim on the ground before seeing the gunman. 

She soon realized she recognized the shooter as a student, including one she had seen before. She asked him if he was okay, thinking out loud in court "It didn't seem right that it would be him." She later said on her walkie-talkie that she had eyes on the shooter and there was a victim.  

She finished her testimony by walking the jury through a video of her finding the body of Tate Myre and the shooter in the hallway. 

10:15 a.m. - Prosecution calls first witness

The first witness was Molly Darnell, who worked as an English Language Arts teacher on Nov. 30, 2021. She saw the gunman during the early stages of the rampage, and said "there was no orange tip" after seeing the shooter with the gun.

It was passing time in school when Darnell was in her classroom. She testified that she heard three pops as kids started running with their arms extended. As she went to close her door, she saw a figure in oversized clothing through the glass pane next to her door. It's locked at the time. 

The gunman then raised his arm and she felt her left shoulder go back before experiencing something like a burn. She also observed a bullet hole through the window in the back of the classroom.

Her next thought was to barricade the room to keep the gunman outside. 

About 20 minutes after, she texted the teacher next door that she had been shot. She was in shock as she assessed the situation and texted her daughter "I love you" after she asked if she was okay. 


Bullet holes in the door of Molly Darnell's classroom. She was shot in the shoulder, but says she could have been fatally struck if she hadn't moved. 

A teacher came to her door afterward to make sure she was okay. Darnell managed to respond, but still didn't recognize the voice, despite knowing the individual for years. Police eventually arrived and asked her to remove a secondary locking mechanism before opening the door. 

From there, two officers picked her up. She recalls seeing one teacher and several heavily-armed police officers. Darnell testified she didn't see any victims after being walked out of the school. Police wrapped a tourniquet around her wound before taking her to the hospital. 

9:53 a.m. - Judge calls 10-minute break

9:26 a.m. - Defense begins opening arguments

Defense Attorney Shannon Smith started her opening arguments with a Taylor Swift Lyric: "Band-Aids don't fix bullet holes." 

"And that's what this case is about. It's about prosecution attempting to put a Band-Aid on problems that can't be fixed with a Band-Aid," she said, before arguing the evidence that will be used by the prosecution won't be relevant to convicting Jennifer. 

"Much of the evidence is going to make you sick and disgusted and scare you, traumatize you. And quite frankly, there's no reason the evidence needs to be shown," she said.

Defense isn't shying away from talking about Jennifer's husband either. In discussing the firearm that would eventually be used, she explained it was James who was familiar with the weapon and had locked it and stored it. 

Additionally, she's adding more context to some of the scenes that will be dissected during this trial, including her trip to the shooting range with the shooter, the meeting with counselors the day of the shooting, and the immediate aftermath when news begins to break of the shooting. 

That's when she sent a text to her son to "don't do it." 

The defense also brings up the first time Jennifer saw her son after the shooting. It was at the substation, and when she saw her son, his eyes "looked black," Smith says. "It was a son she did not recognize," she said.

Jennifer is also expected to take the stand later this trial, defense says, and her testimony will add key context to the case. 

"You will hear that Mrs. Crumbley was never told much of the information the school had, and so when the prosecution is urging you not to assign fault anyone else. At the end of the day, we ask that you pay attention to the evidence that Mrs. Crumbley knew," the defense said.

9:13 a.m. - Prosecution begins opening arguments

Assistant Prosecutor Marc Keast started opening arguments with showing the faces of the four students killed by the defendant's son. He said "Jennifer Crumbley didn't pull the trigger that day, but she is responsible for those deaths."

Keast went over communications between the Crumbley parents on the day of the shooting, the meeting they had with the counselor before the shooting, and summarized the events and decisions made in the months and days before the shooting took place. 

"The evidence will also show you that Jennifer Crumbley was aware of that despite her knowledge of his deteriorating mental crisis. Despite her knowledge of his growing social isolation, despite the fact that is illegal for a 15-year-old to walk into a gun store and walk out with a handgun by himself -- this gun was gifted," he said.

Keast also referenced other players involved in the day of the shooting, including James Crumbley, the teen shooter, and the counselors that met with the shooter before then. 

"You may not like the fact that neither the school counselor nor the dean of students searched the school shooter's backpack. That's okay. That's okay, because that does not mitigate Jennifer Crumbley's culpability."

RELATED: Prosecutor says negligence led to Oxford High School shooting, not bad parenting

8:56 a.m. - Judge reads crimes that Jennifer Crumbley is charged with

Judge Matthews kicked off what's expected to be a trial lasting two to three weeks with rules for the jury. Unsurprisingly, jury selection included a lot of haranguing from the judge about how hard it is to keep the jury from outside news or social media exposure of a high-profile case.

Since the Oxford High School shooting happened in Oakland County, finding 17 jurors that lived in the area that said they could be fair and impartial for the trial took two days. Several were excused with cause, while several more were removed at the request of both legal sides. 

Selecting a jury

Crumbley is facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Nov. 30, 2021 shooting committed by her son. Her husband, James Crumbley, faces the same charges.

The parents are accused of ignoring their son's mental health and providing him with the weapon that he used to kill four students at the school. Their son was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole late last year.

Now, both parents will have separate trials on the charges.

After two days of questioning potential jurors on guns, mental health, and more, and dismissing more than a dozen, Jennifer's jury was selected Wednesday.

Seventeen jurors were selected, with five picked to be alternates, while 12 others will be seated for the trial. The trial is expected to last for several weeks.

The jurors include 10 women and seven men, many of who who have kids. Many others also own guns and are avid hunters. Both were some of the most frequent questions asked by attorneys. 

  • A woman grew up in a family that hunted, whose guns were always locked up and away from kids.
  • A compliance specialist with one adult kid who works as a public teacher. She is the only juror to have previously served on a jury
  • A family medicine physician who worked in urgent care and said he's no stranger to gun violence. He also owns firearms.
  • An auto engineer with children and a cousin who works as a police officer
  • An elementary school teacher with three kids
  • A logistics worker who owns several guns and is an avid hunter.
  • A former police officer who owns a gun for personal protection.

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Both days included themes of mental health and firearms, with prosecutor Karen McDonald and defense attorney Shannon Smith focusing on how jurors' feelings toward many of the topics expected to come up during the trial.

The first day of jury selection saw a few people dismissed over concerns their feelings about guns could bias their judging of the case.

The second day stretched further into areas of the case, including jurors' feelings of parental responsibility for their kid's actions. 

More Coverage

Guns dominate first day of jury selection

More than once, questions for jurors about their background and feelings about elements of the case landed on firearms and people's feelings about them. While some were gun owners themselves, many others felt strongly against them. 

Owning weapons, using them for personal protection, and how one comes to possessing a gun were all themes that people sitting in the jury box discussed. Some said their feelings would make it hard to be fair and impartial during the case.

Four people were excluded from the pool based on their answers. 

Another person was excluded based on their ties to the Oxford High School shooter, while two others were excused for scheduling conflicts.

Defense and prosecution use strikes to remove jurors on day two

On Wednesday, mental health largely dominated the questions – with the jurors being asked what is appropriate for parents when monitoring their kids.

Another topic that came up was parenting style, specifically, what is considered hovering. 

One juror didn't believe in "hovering" over kids to parent them, but escalating care when needed. 

All told, six jurors were dismissed on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 14.

A trial with media coverage

The Oxford High School shooting has dominated stretches of the news ever since it happened in late 2021. 

The latest high-profile court proceeding was the shooter's sentencing. The teen pleaded guilty to murder and terrorism before being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. 

As is the case with other trials, the judge cautioned people selected for the jury pool against including what they've read about the incident when considering their thoughts on Crumbley's innocence.

"You've heard lots of things about the shooting, but very little about this case," Judge Matthews said late Tuesday. 

RELATED: Oxford High School shooter seeks to appeal life without parole sentence

Jury selection

A total of 12 jurors will be selected, along with five alternates for Crumbley's trial. 

About 340 people were selected for the pool. They'll go through a rigorous selection process that includes a questionnaire each will fill out first. 

Based on their answers, they'll either be directed toward the courtroom or their day will be done after being automatically excluded. 

The courtroom will seat 50 potential jurors at a time, who will then be questioned by the judge as well as attorneys from the prosecution and defense. 

A court staff attorney said it could be a very unpredictable process.