(FOX 2) - Jennifer Crumbley’s trial for involuntary manslaughter continued Wednesday with explosive details of an extramarital affair and the moments leading up to the arrests of the Oxford High shooter’s parents.
Day five of the unprecedented trial brought testimony from police officers who found Jennifer and James Crumbley hiding in an art studio the night of their arrests, as well as the witness who led officers to the scene.
Crumbley, 45, and her husband James Crumbley are both charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Nov. 30, 2021 shooting. They’re the first parents of a mass shooter to be charged for their child's crimes.
Here’s what to know about the trial’s fifth day.
Crumbley said son would have to ‘suffer,’ detective testifies
Lt. Sam Marzban, a detective with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office who was charged with writing up a search warrant for the Crumbleys’ home after the shooting, testified Wednesday about his interaction with Jennifer Crumbley.
On the day of the Oxford High shooting, Marzban met Jennifer and James Crumbley at their home after officers had already been there for about 15 minutes. Marzban wanted the Crumbleys there to retrieve their cell phones after learning about the message Jennifer sent to her son saying, "don’t do it."
Jennifer Crumbley didn't want to hand her phone over to the detective, he said, though she eventually gave him her password.
"She seemed irritated about it," Marzban recalled.
As Marzban and Jennifer Crumbley discussed the shooting, Marzban said he found it "odd" when she said, "lives were lost today, and he's going to have to suffer," referring to her son.
"The language of suffer struck me as odd," he said. "The choice of words, suffer, was odd to me."
Witness who spotted Crumbleys’ car testifies
Luke Kirtley, a Detroit business owner who spotted the Crumbleys’ vehicle in the parking lot of a commercial building the night of their arrests, testified Wednesday about what he saw.
Kirtley said earlier on Dec. 3, 2021, a few days after the Oxford High shooting, he had seen a wanted poster with photos of Jennifer and James Crumbley and their vehicle online.
When he went to his shared commercial building later that night, he noticed a car parked in the lot, but he didn't pay much attention to it. As he was leaving, he got a good view of the car and recognized it as the one from the wanted poster he had seen earlier. He also saw someone sitting on an elevated curb near the rear passenger side of the car. It turned out to be Jennifer Crumbley.
Prosecutors played Kirtley’s 911 call to the jury, in which he can be heard saying, "I can't believe it, they're here."
"That's a feeling you've never felt before," Kirtley said.
Police recall night of Crumbleys’ arrest
Former Oakland County Sheriff's Office Detective Sgt. David Hendrick said he first checked local hotels for the Crumbley family's vehicles and located one of them at an Auburn Hills hotel on Dec. 3. However, the couple, who had been charged with involuntary manslaughter earlier that day by the prosecutor's office, were not there.
After Kirtley’s call to police led them to the commercial building, officers found the Crumbleys lying on a mattress inside. The couple were found in an art studio owned by an acquaintance.
Police body camera footage from Detroit Police Cpl. David Shaw captures their arrests. In the video shown in court, officers handcuff the Crumbleys and begin searching the room.
Witness confirms affair with Jennifer Crumbley
Brian Meloche, a firefighter and friend of Jennifer Crumbley, testified about his affair with the defendant and the communications he had with her the day of and the days following the shooting.
Among the themes the two talked about were threats being directed at the Crumbley parents. At one point, Jennifer Crumbley said she had "failed miserably" as a parent.
"You didn't do this," he replied.
The sexual relationship between Meloche and Jennifer Crumbley was revealed after a lengthy argument over whether police intimidated or pressured Meloche into lying during interviews. The allegations from defense attorney Shannon Smith led to another dispute over evidence – and ultimately opened the door for testimony about the affair.
"At this point, her life is more important than her dignity in terms of…she had an affair. Lots of people have affairs. I mean, that's the bottom line. At the end of the day, it doesn't mean, you know, your kid's a school shooter," Smith said.
Meloche told the court he gave three separate interviews to police and discussed the affair during each one. He told investigators he didn’t want details of the affair to be made public.
Other messages between Meloche and Crumbley include Jennifer telling Meloche about the meeting with the counselor and her son. At one point, Meloche told 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."
Some messages revealed at the trial were deleted by Crumbley but later recovered through police investigations. Several of the messages from Crumbley to Meloche express desperation over her son’s criminal charges.
"I have nothing to live for," Crumbley said in one message to Meloche.
"I need people who know us as parents to be behind us more than ever," she said in another.
When prosecutors followed up with Meloche, they asked if he ever felt threatened by law enforcement during his interviews. Meloche said no.
Xanax, Adderall and $6,617 in cash found in art studio
William Creer, a forensic technician with the Detroit Police Department, told the court about what he found when he searched the art studio where Jennifer and James Crumbey were arrested on Dec. 4, 2021.
He testified two plastic bins were found during their sweep of the studio. They also found orange juice, food items, and several articles of clothing, along with a receipt showing many of the items were purchased the same day.
In one box was a purse that had bottles of pills later identified as adderall and xanax - along with $6,617 in cash.