Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Jennifer Crumbley’s convicted killer ‘best friend’ is kicked out of school shooting trial

Megan Imirowicz called Ms Crumbley her ‘best friend’ after the pair spent time together in the same Michigan prison

Kelly Rissman
Friday 26 January 2024 19:00 GMT
Jennifer Crumbley's trial continues

A convicted killer and friend of Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of the Oxford High School mass shooter, was removed from the courtroom during her manslaughter trial.

Megan Imirowicz, who was convicted at the age of 19 for killing her father by throwing corrosive lye powder and water onto him in 2021, befriended Ms Crumbley in prison.

Ahead of Thursday’s opening statements in Ms Crumbley’s trial, Oakland County assistant prosecutor Marc Keast said, “It’s come to our attention that one individual who was subpoenaed as a witness is in court today.”

Mr Keast said he was talking about Imirowicz. Shannon Smith, the defence attorney, said, “I don’t even know who Megan Imirowicz is,” while looking around the courtroom.

Imirowicz then seemed to leave the courtroom.

Megan Imirowicz, 19, was convicted for killing her father using lye powder and water. She said Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of Oxford school shooter Ethan Crumbley, helped her write her sentencing plea (Michigan State Police)

The judge explained that anyone who is a witness is under a sequestration order. Apparently, Ms Crumbley helped Imirowicz write her plea for mercy.

“She helped me write the things out that I didn’t know how to put into words,” Imirowicz said in July 2023.

Imirowicz said that Ms Crumbley was her “best friend”.

Jennifer Crumbley is on trial for four counts of involuntary manslaughter (Oakland County Jail)

Ms Crumbley is on trial for four counts of involuntary manslaughter after her son, Ethan Crumbley, opened fire at his high school in November 2021, killing four classmates and wounding seven others. Crumbley was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last month – a sentence which he appealed this week. His lawyers told the court that if he is called to testify, he has been advised “to invoke his right to remain silent”.

The judge said on Friday that she will prohibit the defence from calling the convicted school shooter to take the stand because of his plan to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights. She said she couldn’t think of a single question, other than asking his name, that wouldn’t result in him pleading the Fifth.

The trial of the shooter’s mother began this week while the trial of her husband is slated for March, as the pair asked for their cases to be severed. Her husband, James Crumbley, also faces four counts of involuntary manslaughter. They have both pleaded not guilty.

The parents have been accused of ignoring their son’s declining mental health condition and making a gun accessible in their home.

Mr Crumbley purchased a firearm for their son and Ms Crumbley took Ethan to a shooting range just days before the massacre.

The school reportedly contacted the 15-year-old’s parents to warn them about his violent drawings that they had found and had found him showing interest in finding ammunition.

Hours before the mass shooting, the parents were called in to meet with school administrators and their son. While the school urged the parents to take him home, the Crumbleys kept him in school.

The defence on Thursday emphasised this choice that the school gave the Crumbleys. It “caused him great anxiety to miss school” so Ms Crumbley encouraged her son to stay in school that day, her lawyer said.

Ms Smith told the jury that Ms Crumbley is a “hypervigilant mother”, while also saying that she didn’t “have it on her radar in any way that there was any mental disturbance”, and that the school hadn’t told her about any “problematic issues” regarding her son.

The evidence will show that the shooting was “absolutely not foreseeable and absolutely not expected”, Ms Smith said.

The prosecutors have painted the mother in a very different light. “They weren’t in a car crash. They weren’t sick. They were murdered in an act of terror committed by Jennifer Crumbley’s 15-year-old son,” Oakland County assistant prosecutor Marc Keast said in opening statements.

“Jennifer Crumbley didn’t pull the trigger that day. But she’s responsible for their deaths,” he added.

On Thursday, an argument ensued between the lawyers when Ms Crumbley started audibly crying in the courtroom, despite the judge requesting that everyone try to remain composed to not sway the jury. She began crying after the prosecution showed video footage of her son roaming around the school hallways wielding the weapon.

Prosecutor Karen McDonald told the judge that she heard not only Ms Crumbley, but also her lawyer, Ms Smith.

“I did not sob,” Ms Smith snapped. “We were not sobbing or making a scene. All my eye makeup is still on.”

Ms Crumbley’s trial continues.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in