Judge rejects guilty plea of man accused of killing his mother
September 27, 2011
By Josh Friedman
Christopher Shumey, accused of killing his mother and shooting at police officers, appeared before San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy Tuesday morning and, against the wishes of his attorney, said he would like to plead guilty to charges of murder and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
Duffy refused to accept the plea, saying that Shumey has a history of mental health problems and, therefore, might not be acting in a “voluntary, intelligent fashion.”
Shumey’s attorney, M. Pierre Blahnik, who replaced previous lawyer Patricia Ashbaugh, did not join in his client’s effort to plead guilty. Blahnik instead requested that the case proceed with preliminary hearings.
After deliberating with Blahnik and Duffy in a calm and very respectful manner, Shumey agreed to appear at a preliminary hearing in two weeks.
In previous arraignment appearances, Shumey was dressed in black and white stripes signifying jail staff must pay close attention to him. But, Tuesday he appeared in the same orange jumpsuit as other jail inmates in court.
Shumey, who is still being held in San Luis Obispo County Jail on a no bail order, allegedly murdered his mother following a heated argument September 17 at his apartment on the corner of Beach and Buchon streets. His mother, Karen Shumey, was a 65-year-old teacher with the Lompoc Unified School District.
When police arrived, Shumey allegedly started shooting at officers with a shotgun from his upstairs apartment but surrendered shortly thereafter.