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New Times / News

The following article was posted on April 11th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 37 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 37

Shumey gets 40 years for murdering mother

BY MATT FOUNTAIN

A mentally troubled San Luis Obispo man convicted in February for murdering his mother and firing a shotgun at responding officers has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.

Christopher Shumey, 36, was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder and later found legally sane in the second phase of his trial.

In September 2011, officers responded to the 400 block of Buchon Street near downtown San Luis Obispo to reports of shots fired. After a brief standoff, officers found Karen Shumey dead on her son’s porch.

Shumey had originally pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Pierre Blahnik, Shumey’s public defender, argued that Shumey had a 15-year history of severe mental illness that began during his senior year as a student at UC Santa Cruz and had varied in intensity in the years since.

He also contended that Shumey was in the middle of a suicide attempt when his mother returned to his apartment following a heated argument between the two.

Deputy District Attorney Karen Grey countered that Shumey took actions and made statements that showed he understood the gravity of the situation, such as reloading the shotgun before shooting his mother a second time.

Shumey’s father had previously told the court that his son should be sent to a facility where he could receive help for his condition, not prison.