ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The mother of a teenager who is accused of killing four students at a Michigan school told her boss earlier that day that "she felt as if she was failing" the boy, according to testimony Tuesday.
Prosecutors summoned Andrew Smith, the chief operating officer of a real estate company, to talk about Jennifer Crumbley before and after four students were killed at Oxford High School on Nov. 30.
The judge must decide whether there's enough evidence to send James and Jennifer Crumbley to trial on involuntary manslaughter charges. They are accused of making a gun accessible to their son, Ethan Crumbley, and failing to intervene when he showed signs of mental distress.
Smith said Jennifer Crumbley returned to work after she and her husband had a meeting at the school earlier that day. He said he didn't know the specific reason for the meeting, but authorities say during that meeting, school officials showed the couple drawings of violence that their son had made. The officials allowed Ethan Crumbley to stay in school, but they told his parents to get him help.
"She had said her son needed to get some counseling," Smith said of what Jennifer Crumbley mentioned after returning to work that day. "I think she mentioned a family pet had passed away. She felt as if she was failing him or a failure."
Smith said he later heard Jennifer Crumbley "screaming down the hallway" after she learned of the shooting.
She left work and subsequently texted Smith to say, "Andy, he's going to kill himself. He must be the shooter."
Attorneys for the Crumbleys insist that the couple didn't know that a shooting was in the works and didn't make the gun easy to find at home.
Ethan Crumbley is charged as an adult with murder and other crimes. His lawyers filed a notice of an insanity defense, which will likely freeze his case while experts examine him.
The high school, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit, reopened on Jan. 24, nearly two months after the shooting.
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