Murder victim’s family angry over 40 year sentence
April 5, 2013
The husband and sister of a woman who was murdered by her mentally ill son told the court they were upset about the 40-year to life sentence given to Christopher Shumey.
Shumey allegedly shot and killed his mother, a 65-year-old teacher, at his apartment at the corner of Beach and Buchon streets in September 2011. After killing his mother, Shumey fired at police officers from his upstairs apartment.
His father Robert Shumey said he was disappointed in San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Karen Gray for portraying his wife Karen Shumey as an overbearing mother in order to provide a motive for the murder. He said his wife and son had a caring relationship.
In January, Christopher Shumey pled not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury determined he was sane at the time of his mother’s murder.
On Thursday, Christopher Shumey’s father told the court that the family was upset with the verdict.
“To send a mentally ill person to prison for the rest of his life, where he will be minimally maintained with limited opportunity to improve his mental condition, is not humane and is not justice,” Robert Shumey said.
Gray argued that Shumey could get treatment for his illness in prison.
“This defendant remains a dangerous person, and society needs to be protected from him,” Gray said.
Pamela Harris, the victim’s sister, asked the court to recommend her nephew be incarcerated in a mental institution.
San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy said he would make the recommendation, but that ultimately prison system officials will make the determination where Christopher Shumey will serve his sentence.