The mother of Oxford school shooter Ethan Crumbley was having an affair with a married firefighter, whom she texted regularly in the days before and after her son’s mass murder — even as she allegedly remained on the run from police, a Michigan court heard on Wednesday.
In text messages read in court, Jennifer Crumbley told lover Brian Meloche she “failed miserably” as a parent, while also slamming school officials she said failed to act after her son drew violent doodles on his class work.
“I failed as a parent, I failed miserably,” Crumbley messaged her lover just after midnight on Dec. 1, 2021, one day after the shooting, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“You didn’t do this,” Meloche, a fire department captain, responded.
She then replied that she was “scared,” to which Meloche wrote back, “I bet.”
“You literally need to disappear once you are free to do so,” he wrote, later claiming he was worried about her safety after seeing threatening posts on social media.
But Meloche would also later warn his lover: “Be careful of anything you type in Messenger or text.
“The FBI is involved, they can access anything and everything.”
But Crumbley continued to message Meloche as she and her husband, James, allegedly tried to dodge police seeking to question them about their decision to buy their son a gun.
“I’ll never be OK. I lost my son. He’s a murderer. And I’ll forever have to live with that,” she wrote in one of the messages in the aftermath of the shooting in which her son killed four people.
“I’m not sure life is worth living anymore,” she continued. “I have nothing left to live for. He was it.”
In other messages, Crumbley blasted school officials over its handling of a meeting the morning of Nov. 31 over concerns about one of his drawings.
“They didn’t see him as a threat and [decided] he could stay in school, which is what he wanted to do,” the mother tried to explain.
“His f–ing backpack was with him, why didn’t they search it?!?”
She also noted that “no officer was notified, and apparently there were threats, and no one, not even us [was] notified.”
Meloche then replied that he did not “understand how the school was so nonchalant about this and prior threats.”
Crumbley, though, did not mention that she and her husband decided not to bring their son home following the meeting, instead saying they had to return to work and vowed to get their son help within 48 hours.
School officials have previously testified they felt that Ethan was not a threat to the school, and he was better off staying at the school rather than having his parents bring him home, where he would be alone, over concerns that he was depressed.
But Ethan would start shooting up his high school just two hours after the meeting.
In the days that followed, prosecutors said, Crumbley would send updates to Meloche while on the run in the days before she and her husband, James, were found sheltering inside an abandoned warehouse.
“We’re painted as monsters,” she told her lover. “We’re fearing for our lives.”
Meloche would later admit to police he was having an affair with Crumbley, and said he was warned the affair could cost him his job.
Both parents have since been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter for the deadly high school rampage, and both have pleaded not guilty.
In court this week, defense attorney Shannon Smith also tried to argue that they were not actually on the run after the charges against them were announced.
“The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety,” she said, claiming they were going to return to the area to be arraigned.
But those claims were seemingly disproven on the second day of Jennifer’s trial, when it was revealed she had sent her boss a text one day before the charges were announced saying, “We’re on the run again. Helicopters. Not sure where to. I’ll message you.”