Jennifer Crumbley trial Day 5 includes explosive debate over evidence of defendant's affair

Evidence presented during the fifth day of Jennifer Crumbley's trial included video of the Oxford High School shooter's mother and father being taken into custody, as well as testimony about an extramarital affair between the defendant and a witness. 

Both legal teams also had fiery exchanges. You can find a full recap of the day's trial coverage here.

5 p.m. - Judge sends jury home

4:15 p.m. - Prosecution calls next witness

William Creer is a forensic technician with the Detroit Police Department. He was working the night the Crumbley parents were arrested. He described the room he walked into as an art studio. He saw a mattress on the floor when he walked in. 

He testified two plastic bins were found during their sweep of the studio where the Crumbleys were found. They also found orange juice, food items, and several articles of clothing. A receipt was found with many of the items.

In one box was a purse that had bottles of pills later identified as adderall and xanax - along with $6,617 in cash. 

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Clothing, food, and other items found where James and Jennifer Crumbley were arrested.

3:54 p.m. - Judge calls short break

3:40 p.m. - Prosecution returns to cross-examination

The first question the prosecution asked was about why Meloche stopped messaging Jennifer Crumbley, who testified it was because a warrant was submitted for her arrest.

The prosecution then asked Meloche if he ever felt threatened by law enforcement during his interviews, and he testified no, he did not feel that way. 

3 p.m. - Witness confirms affair with defendant

A fierce round of debate between both legal teams led to Brian Meloche confirming an affair with Jennifer Crumbley. 

After that, more messages between the two were shown to the court, including Jennifer telling Meloche about the meeting with the counselor and her son. Other messages included Meloche telling Jennifer to "be careful of anything you type on messenger or text. It WILL all be subpoenaed and kept track of. The FBI is involved, they can access anything and everything."

The two continued to communicate over Facebook with Jennifer Crumbley and continued with the defendant talking about deactivating her social media accounts, finding death threats in her email, and getting alarming text messages. 

2:28 p.m. - Defense continues cross-examination

The defense resumed her cross-examination with Meloche by entering into the record that he had an affair with Jennifer Crumbley. He characterized it as a sexual relationship between the two when he was asked by police. 

Meloche has previously testified he has a poor memory. 

The defense is asking about the different interviews he had. The first one he had with the police was on Dec. 10, 2021. It was one week after his last contact with Jennifer Crumbley. He disclosed to the officers that he had knowledge about Jennifer Crumbley and confirmed he was having an affair with her. 

He also told them he didn't want it to be public. The second interview happened at the county complex in Pontiac. 

During these interviews, Meloche testified he added more information to his original statement given to police. The defense then turned her questions toward the third interview between the witness and police and at one point brought up allegations that police made a veiled threat to him about his job and benefits if he said something about the defendant. 

2:05 p.m. - Defense begins cross-examination

The defense is referencing allegations that police asked Meloche to lie during interviews he had with officers after Jennifer Crumbley was arrested. This has led attorneys to another dispute over evidence - and another break called by the judge. 

1:45 p.m. - Prosecution resumes cross-examination

Facebook messages between Brian Meloche and Jennifer Crumbley were entered into evidence. Those messages were then displayed on a screen for the court to see. The thread began shortly after the shooting took place. 

Among the themes the two talked about were threats being directed at the Crumbley parents. At one point, Jennifer Crumbley said "I failed a parent. I failed miserably." He replied "You didn't do this."

He testified after being asked if he felt the same way that his mind had changed. He also texted Jennifer he had seen on the news there were reports of them possibly being charged. He responded: "I don't know how both of you could be charged. I can only assume they will charge James with the handgun not being secured." 

In another message, Jennifer said they had a "string lock" on the firearm. 

According to one text message entered into evidence, Jennifer Crumbley told Meloche on Thursday that she was going to be charged. 

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Text messages between Jennifer Crumbley and her friend Brian Meloche

1:03 p.m. - Prosecution calls next witness

Brian Meloche is a firefighter and a friend of the defendant. He met Jennifer Crumbley in high school. 

Meloche testified he received text messages from Crumbley the day of the shooting and continued receiving more messages from her afterward. An attempt to enter the two party's full conversation on Facebook into evidence sparked a debate from the defense that she hadn't had the chance to review evidence. 

The judge called a short break. 

11:45 a.m. - Judge calls lunch

11:21 a.m. - Prosecution calls next witness

David Shaw is a corporal with the Detroit Police Department. He's worked with the special response team for 10 years. He also worked with the department's patrol team. He's served search warrants and manages barricaded gunman scenes as a SWAT member.  

He arrived at the building shortly before midnight, where other law enforcement members were there. He said he was the first member of his team there. A lot of Detroit Police cars were already on the scene. Multiple agencies showed up after they entered the building, Shaw testified. 

He said his team made entry into the building with roughly 20 other officers. They moved through the first floor slowly, breaching one or two doors with a metal ram. Nothing was found in the first room they entered. 

At some point they gained access to locked doors with keys that an officer found. In addition to tactical units moving through the building, there was also K-9 units at the scene. From there, they cleared the third floor before returning to the first floor. 

At one point, police learned the Crumbley parents were in a room on the first floor and moved back to that room. Bodycamera footage from Shaw's person caught the moment they arrested James Crumbley. 

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Bodycam footage of James and Jennifer Crumbley's arrest

11:13 a.m. - Defense begins cross-examination

The defense is going over some of the similar themes the prosecution had asked about, including his knowledge of the building and his workflow. The prosecution resumed its questions, asking why the witness had hidden. He sat in an area where there were no windows. 

He was outside when law enforcement arrived. 

10:36 a.m. - Prosecution calls next witness

Luke Kirtley works at a company called Coffee House in Detroit. They supply coffee to businesses. He started the business a few years ago, and it has been in its current location since 2020. 

Kirtley became aware of the Oxford High School shooting during the week, and later became aware of a vehicle that police were looking out for and two people associated with the car. They were identified as the Crumbley parents. 

He said when he got to his business, he used his fob to enter a parking lot at the business. At the time, he noticed a car parked in the lot. He said he didn't pay much mind to it. When he left the company, he got a good view of the car, which was parked at the back corner of the lot. It had been backed in with the license plate away from view.


The industrial building where the Crumbley parents were found. 

Kirtley testified he recognized the car as the one from the wanted poster he had seen earlier. The license plate also matched what the poster said. He looked over and then saw someone sitting on an elevated curb near the rear passenger side of the car. 

He didn't say anything to them. 

"That's a feeling you've never felt before," Kirtley testified after confirming the vehicle was the one police were searching for. He said he calmly walked back into his office, noting he was tense at the time.


Luke Kirtley walking over the a vehicle that was parked in his the lot connected to his business. He confirmed it was the car that police were searching for after looking at the license plate. 

We also got to listen to Kirtley's 911 call after identifying the Crumbley parents' car. At first, the dispatcher isn't sure who he's talking about. "I can't believe it, they're here," he can be heard saying. 

Police arrived soon after "locked and loaded" with rifles and vests, Kirtley testified. He was at the command center at the time the Crumbley parents were taken into custody. Without knowing they had access to the building, he believed they would have been long gone before police arrived. 

10:11 a.m. - Witness excused +short break called

10:02 a.m. - Defense begins cross-examination

The defense counsel was among the first to meet with the fugitive apprehension team leader. Hendrick confirmed remembering the meeting with Jennifer Crumbley's attorney. 

9:42 a.m. - Prosecution calls next witness

David Hendrick used to work with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office for 34 years. He was a detective sergeant at the time of the Oxford High School shooting with the fugitive apprehension team. 

He testified that he had helped apprehend hundreds of individuals. He said someone on the run would leave their home, stop communicating with friends, and try to rely on cash. He was tasked with an assignment of locating the Crumbley parents. 

The first thing he did was to go out and check addresses and look for vehicles and check local hotels. 

A vehicle owned by the Crumbleys was located on Dec. 3 at a hotel in Auburn Hills - three days after the shooting. The first thing he did was have everyone respond to location. He testified they had left the location prior to them locating the vehicle.  

The parent's other vehicle was located in the city of Detroit. Earlier in the day, the two had been charged by the Oakland County prosecutor. At this time, he spoke to their attorney and notified them that a warrant was issued for their arrest. 

At the same time, other members of the team was checking other addresses and hotels: "all the things we would normally do - continually looking." Other agencies were also helping, including border patrol, ATF, U.S. Marshals, and Michigan State Police.  He testified that's not abnormal for a case of this magnitude when a Be On The Lookout alert is issued. 

All seven members of the task force were assigned to the case. When they arrived at the Crumbley's second car, which had been located in Detroit at an industrial park, several Detroit Police Department officers were also there. 

"As more officers arrived, we were able to gain access to the building. We formulated a plan to search the second and third floors of the building," he testified. Meanwhile, Detroit police would search the first floor. 

"It can be quite noisy," he said, describing the process of searching an area for fugitives. Both James and Jennifer Crumblery were found at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. Hendrick and two other officers transported both of them into custody. 

9:39 a.m. - Defense begins cross-examination

The defense counsel has started her cross-examination of Det. Lt. Sam Marzban with questions about him seizing her cell phone after a search warrant was authorized. 

Only a few more questions were asked before the witness was excused.

9:02 a.m. - Jury is seated + first witness called

Sam Marzban is a detective lieutenant with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office and is commander of the city of Pontiac's detective bureau.

Like many other officers on Nov. 30, Marzban responded to the Oxford High School shooting immediately. He helped coordinate clearing of the building before identifying victims. The first person he found was Hana St. Juliana. The next was Madisyn Baldwin.

After that, he prepared a search warrant for the shooter's residence. 

He also was first to find the shooter's phone and noticed several messages that appeared on the front of the phone. On it included texts from James and Jennifer Crumbley, including from his mom saying "(shooter's name) don't do it."


The shooter's phone that Det. Lt. Sam Marzban observed in the school.

With the idea that others may be witnesses to the shooting or passing communications that could be helpful for the investigation, Marzban wrote up a search warrant at the school. While he was writing it, he asked other detectives to secure the house.

He also told one detective to go and comfort one student that had witnessed a homicide. 

He testified the first thing that officers did when they arrived at the home was to preserve evidence. Collecting it would happen next. 

Marzban met Jennifer Crumbley after she and James Crumbley arrived at the home about 15 minutes after officers had arrived. Marzban wanted them at home because they had cell phones that he deemed were important. They were relevant for a homicide investigation based on the text from Jennifer to her son.

Jennifer Crumbley didn't want to hand her phone to the detective. "She seemed irritated about it," he said. Jennifer eventually gave Marzban a password to the phone. 

In documenting Jennifer Crumbley's statements to him, Marzban testified he found it "odd" when she said "lives were lost today, and he's going to have to suffer" since she was referring to her son. "The language of suffer struck me as odd," he said. "The choice of words suffer was odd to me."

8:55 a.m. - Judge enters the room

Before the jury was seated, the defense and prosecution told the judge of a dispute over scheduling issues. The prosecution says they have nine potential witnesses left to call and defense is worried about scheduling her own witnesses to appear. 

"I am a one-man show," she said to Judge Cheryl Matthews.

The judge said every trial includes concerns over timing from defense as the prosecution isn't able to give a definitive answer when they will be done. 

Latest in Crumbley case

Oakland County Sergeant Matthew Peschke interviewed Jennifer after the parents met with deputies and their son at the Oakland County Substation.

In the video, Jennifer can be heard saying that her husband, James, took their son to school that day, and she believed the gun was still at the house that morning. When she was told the gun box was found on her bed where she had been sleeping, she said James must have put the box on the bed when he learned about the shooting and rushed home.

Both Jennifer and James are facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the shooting committed by their son, who was sentenced to life in prison. The parents are accused of ignoring their child's mental health and buying him the gun used in the Nov. 30, 2021 shooting.

The morning of the shooting, the parents were called to the high school about violent drawings their son had made on a worksheet. Peschke asked Jennifer about these.

"I didn't look at them that closely," she said. "When I was at the substation and I looked at them closely, they were a little bit disturbing. They were very disturbing because look what he just f***ing did." 

Jennifer then said she was shocked about what happened.

"This is f**ed up. My son just ruined his life. I'll probably never see him again. Like, what the f***," she said.

Court Tuesday also included testimony from the former dean of Oxford High School, Nicholas Ejak, and Jennifer's former boss and a colleague.


Dean of students says ‘no reason’ to search shooter's backpack

Despite a graphic note and drawings, the backpack of the Oxford High School shooter was never searched. The school's dean testified during Jennifer Crumbley's trial exactly why

Ejak was questioned about why the shooter's backpack wasn't searched after the violent drawings were found the morning of the shooting. He testified that the student "did not pose a threat to the school," and he did not have "reasonable suspicion to" search his belongings.

A school counselor, who testified Monday, said he told the parents to get the student mental health help immediately and recommended that he be taken home, but he remained in the school.

Jennifer's former boss and colleague testified about her reaction to learning about the shooting at her son's school. This testimony included previously shared text messages she sent to her boss after learning that a gun was missing from her home.

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