Judge rejects guilty plea of man accused of killing his mother

September 27, 2011

Christopher Shumey

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.

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He’d be crazy if he didn’t plead guilty . . . He is, he knows he is and he is doing the right thing. I appreciate the judge’s concerns, however, this seems pretty sincere.

Geez, the guy pleads guilty, sentence him to death, end of story. But in today’s society their will be the bleeding hearts and he will end up somewhere on the states dime. And we wonder why our state is so in debt.

My guess is, if he was as bi-polar as I’ve heard rumored, that he is already on “the state’s dime” – how about finding him guilty, confining him to a minimum jail time, but 40 years community service and house arrest? Let him start his penance and work through it the rest of his days under close watch… killing him resolves nothing except saving the tax payer’s money. And if we start killing to save money: watch out. Besides, that’s a band-aid solution at best, not a cure.

The judge did the right thing. It’s obvious that this guy is crazy. They need to make sure that he’s fit to make decisions like this. You can’t ask a crazy person to make a stable judgement.

KSBY aired footage from inside the courtroom and some of this guy speaking. He appears lucid and even joking with the judge. There was also some language about the choice to pull the guilty plea in order to make sure no future litigation because of the perps supposed mental issues. Is the judge looking out for the perps best interests or the courts?

Isn’t anybody who murders another willingly pretty much “crazy”? That being the case do we consider letting them all off on insanity pleas? Is there really a legitimate question of did he pull the trigger or not? How bout the cop who chased down and attacked a handicapped man in Atascadero, or the fireman who willingly beat a man close to death for no good reason, aren’t they crazy too? or did they need to actually cause a loss of life to be labeled a possible nut case and walk on a plea with some short term “rehabilitation”. The man held a job requiring constant public interactions, he speaks quite intelligently and was considered a great guy by many and he admits to his crime yet we say no, you really didn’t mean to do it did you. You commented he jokes around and I did see somewhat of a smirk while speaking with the judge. Id have to guess anybody would laugh to if they committed murder, admitted guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt, shot at law enforcement when they arrived and yet the court system said no you didn’t really mean to do it.

“Isn’t anybody who murders another willingly pretty much “crazy”?”

I agree, that’s always seemed like a weird technicality IMO. What sane person murders another person?

@easy, I don’t feel that you can tell is someone is sane by simply seeing a 30 second spot on the news.

@BlackCP, why the insult? If you are going to try to prove that you have wit then you will have to do better than that.

“You can’t ask a crazy person to make a stable judgement”

Sure you can, TO, you can ask anyone, anytime, any question. The key is not giving their answer any creedance.

BTW, Costco is having a sale on tin hats iffin you’re interesed in a 2011 model

” Why….Why… uhh. we just don’t normally accept these sort of things…He needs to have a trial.”

Uh, Judgy Wudgy: Why the HBO do you think the system set itself up for arraignments? Are defendants not asked what their plea is at arraignments? Yes, 99% of defendants plead innocent because they are, as YOU are, used to a full blown trial….If they can’t plead at arraignment, WHY THE HECK HAVE ONE???

“This is highly irregular” is not an excuse…Let the man accept responsibility, send him for diagnostics, and send him to the appropriate venue….. You are too entrenched in the system.. Arraignments are wayy too rubber stamped for Px’s and trials…Let it go…I saw it when a man killed his wife in SB county, and the man is doing his time…LET HIM!!!!!!!

geez, when you plead not guilty they spend all their time and resources trying to get you to plead guilty. When you do finally plead guilty, they want you to plead not guilty. What for? So they can convince you to plead guilty? To make us think they are doing their jobs? Job security?

The courts probably have not seen true, sincere shame and honesty in a long time. Perhaps it’s completely foreign to them…

I’m sorry but I have dogs smarter than this guy and they know when they have done wrong. This judge is just doing the PC thing, and IMHO this perp will walk or spend his life in the accredited state facility in Atown.

This “perp” will, while on the proper medications, live with the fact that he ended his own mother who gave him nothing but love. His sentence has already been passed.

Dare I say it,,,,r0y, you almost sound like a lib, are you okay? JK

I agree, once he’s on meds he has to serve his own life sentence that none of us can even imagine. Not saying that he should beset free as he’s probably a pretty dangerous person. I’m curious to see if he has a father that’s active in his life and/or brothers and sisters and what they have to say.


I don’t think your a lib, your just more open minded than some dare to be at times.

Thanks willie, I take that as a complement and I’d say the same about you as well. I don’t like to box myselve into one school of thought. I’m just so used to being labled as a lib that I flow with it. Actually on some topics I can be quite conservative.

Shockingly, the “Red Thumb Troll” seems to have struck again! Compassion knows neither liberalism nor conservatism. I like to think it transcends them (how’s that for “tree-hugger speak”?!).

I just hope his family can deal with this properly. It’s got to be hard.


We’ll just keep preaching till they join in and round themselves out.

Keep up the good pros and cons

Convert the square to round.