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 Shumey was sane at the time of mother's murder, jurors find
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1 year ago

Shumey was sane at the time of mother's murder, jurors find

Jurors decided on Thursday that Christopher Shumey was sane when he murdered his mother in San Luis Obispo in 2011. The verdict was read in court just moments ago.

He was found guilty of second-degree murder earlier this month. This was the second phase of his trial.

Watch KSBY News at 5 and 6 p.m. for more on this story.

1 year ago

Verdict reached in second phase of Shumey trial

A verdict has been reached in the second phase of the trial for Christopher Shumey. It is expected to be read in court shortly.

Jurors are deciding if Shumey was insane when he murdered his mother in 2011. He was found guilty of second-degree murder earlier this month.

Deliberations in this latest phase began earlier Thursday.

Stay with KSBY and ksby.com for the latest on this breaking story.

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1 year ago

Christopher Shumey found guilty of second-degree murder

A San Luis Obispo County jury has found Christopher Shumey guilty of second-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of his mother.

The verdict was read Tuesday afternoon. Shumey was also found guilty of assault on a peace officer and other counts.

This was the first phase in his trial.

In the second phase, set to begin on Thursday, jurors will decide whether Shumey was sane at the time of the murder.

Watch KSBY News at 5 and 6 p.m. for the latest on this breaking story.

1 year ago

Verdict reached in Christopher Shumey case

A verdict has been reached in a San Luis Obispo County courtroom in the first phase of the trial for Christopher Shumey. The San Luis Obispo man is charged with murder in his mother's 2011 death.

Jurors were deciding whether the shooting was premeditated. In the second phase, jurors will decide whether Shumey was sane at the time of the shooting.

The verdict is expected to be read just after 4 p.m.

Stay with ksby.com and watch KSBY News at 5 and 6 p.m. for the latest on this breaking story.

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1 year ago

Shumey dozes off while opening statements are presented for murder trial

Opening statements began on Monday for one of the biggest local murder trials of the year.

A jury of twelve was finally selected in the Christopher Shumey case on Monday morning, and then the jury listened to opening statement from both sides in the afternoon. Shumey is accused of murdering his mother in San Luis Obispo in September 2011.

Shumey was seen dozing off through most of the opening statements, including when his own attorney, Pierre Blahnik, took the stand to defend him.

San Luis Obispo Deputy District Attorney Karen Gray said Shumey stole the shotgun he used to kill his mother, Karen Gray, from his father's storage. Gray argued that Shumey felt his mother was smothering him, and that is why he shot her. She said Shumey shot his mother, first through a wooden door, and then the second time, he opened the door and shot her directly in the head.

Blahnik said Shumey was not right in the head that September day, and argued that Shumey actually had intentions of killing himself before shooting his mother. He also added that Shumey has been mentally ill since 1999, with first signs of mental instability when he was a senior at UC Santa Cruz.

Shumey is being charged with first-degree murder and assault with a firearm on a police officer. He has plead not guilty by reason of insanity to those charges. Trial is expected to resume on Tuesday.

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2 years ago

Christopher Shumey pleads insanity to killing his mother

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) - A San Luis Obispo man has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the shotgun killing of his mother.

Police investigators say 34-year-old Christopher John Shumey killed 65-year-old Karen Shumey during an argument outside the front door of his San Luis Obispo apartment in September 2011.

Investigators says Shumey fired at arriving officers, but surrendered after brief negotiations. No officers were hurt.

Shumey pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on Thursday to first-degree murder and assault with a firearm upon a police officer. The judge ordered psychiatric and medical evaluations, which could take months.

Shumey told the judge he understood that if he's convicted with an insanity plea he's subject to commitment for life.

Karen Shumey taught eighth-grade U.S. history at Vandenberg Middle School.

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2 years ago

Man accused of shooting, killing his mother scheduled in court

The man accused of shooting and killing his mother last month in San Luis Obispo is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday morning.

Christopher Shumey, 34, is scheduled for a pre-preliminary hearing. That means both the defense and the prosecution will see if he case can be resolved by a plea. Shumey was scheduled to enter a plea last month, but the judge rejected it, saying he needed more information about Shumey's history.

Shumey's charges are in connection to his mother Karen Shumey's shooting death on September 17.

2 years ago

Man accused of shooting, killing his mother in San Luis Obispo scheduled in court

The San Luis Obispo man accused of killing his mother on September 17 is scheduled to make his second court appearance Tuesday.

Christopher Shumey, 34, is set for arraignment after it was continued last week. Police say Shumey shot and killed his mother, Karen, at his home on Buchon Street in San Luis Obispo.

Karen Shumey was an 8th grade teacher at Vandenberg Middle School.

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2 years ago

Memorial for Karen Shumey in Los Olivos

Teachers, collegues, students, friends, and family paid their respects to Karen Shumey today. A memorial was held at 1 p.m. at the St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos.

Shumey was a teacher for more than 20 years with Lompoc Unified School District. She was most recently a department chair and 8th grade History teacher at Vandenberg Middle School. Former students say she was a beloved teacher, and had a tremendous impact.

"She was really outgoing and she always made learning fun, it was always fun with her. You would walk in and she would welcome you into the room. She was on the best teachers I've ever had," said Skyler Ozuna and Tia Jones, former students.

Her son has been charged with murder and firing gun at a Peace Officer.

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2 years ago

RAW VIDEO: Arraignment postponed for man accused of killing mother

The man accused of shooting and killing his mother in San Luis obispo Saturday appeared in court Wednesday, where his arraignment was postponed until September 27.

Christopher Shumey, 34, is charged with murder and assault with a firearm on a peace officer. He's accused of shooting and killing his mother, Karen Shumey, at his home in the 1500 block of Buchon Street.

2 years ago

Woman killed over the weekend taught at Vandenberg Middle School

Students and faculty returned to Vandenberg Middle School today without one of their beloved teachers, Karen Shumey. Her son allegedly shot and killed her over the weekend in San Luis Obispo.

Shumey taught 8th Grade history and was the department chair at the school, where she had been since 1992. She was also part of the school's leadership team and had received several grants and teaching awards during her career.

Most students and staff saw her on Friday, not realizing it would be the last time.

Shumey has been an educator in the Lompoc Unified School District for more than 20 years, so you can imagine how many thousands of people are affected by her sudden death.

"No matter if you saw her everyday, or once a year, you still got this real warm welcome, long lost friend kind of feel," said one of Shumey's friends and School Board President Sue Schuyler.

It was an emotional weekend after the school district notified parents and students on Sunday with an automated phone message. Some said she was like a second mother to her students.

"She really cared for them and she went out of her way to instill the same love of education she had," Schuyler said.


The principal at Vandenberg Middle School called Shumey, the quintessential teacher, a teacher's teacher. She's been receiving emails from former students throughout the state who loved her.

Sandy Humphrey emailed from Fresno.

"I absolutely adored Mrs. Shumey. She was probably the best teacher that I ever had. I will never forget some of the life long lessons that she taught. . . I don't think her family will quite know what kind of an impact she had.

Jess Price wrote on our KSBY Facebook Page

"She is a big part of the reason I'm in school to become a teacher now. From talking to a lot of former students everybody has one thing to say about her... The preamble song from Schoolhouse Rock. Years later, we still know all the words!"

"I truly believe that as many of those students from years ago will be back to see her and to say farewell," Schuyler said.

"There are very few around, as good as she was, and as committed as she was, still loving her craft," said Hugo Pedroza, Asst. Superintendent of Human Resources for LUSD.

Sadly, in her bio on the school's website, she once wrote her eldest son lives four hours away, but she's lucky that her youngest son lives nearby, a truly tragic irony.

The district says it's respecting the family's privacy and has not made any plans yet for a memorial ceremony.

Administrators say grief counselors will be available for students, faculty, and staff at Vandenberg Middle School and Cabrillo High School for as long as necessary.

2 years ago

Man accused of killing mother worked at Solvang Winery

In 2010, Chris Shumey was arrested by the California Highway Patrol for suspicion of DUI. According to San Luis Obispo County court records, his blood alcohol level was .11 and a later test would show a .10.

He was convicted of a lesser charge of alcohol-related wreckless driving and ordered to pay an $840 dollar fine and attend first offender classes.

Sunday we reported Chris Shumey was an employee of a winery in Solvang.

Monday we found out that winery was Presidio Vineyard and Winery in downtown Solvang.

Shumey was the tasting room manager. We spoke with the President of Presidio, Douglas Braun. He did not want to appear on camera, but made this statement: "We are absolutely dumbfounded by this. Chris was with us for three years. He was an absolutely fabulous employee and was greatly appreciated and well liked by many guests in our tasting room. Our deepest concern is with the family. Chris comes from stunningly fabulous parents. We are shocked."

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2 years ago

New details emerge about deadly shooting in San Luis Obispo

People in the neighborhood have varying opinions when describing Christopher Shumey .
One man says he was friendly and quiet, while another neighbor says he was loud and disruptive.
That woman lives below him and describes a disturbing series of events just before shots rang out.
"When I pulled up and saw the caution tape, my heart just kind of sunk... so yeah, something you don't expect to hit so close to home, literally," said neighbor Heather Stewart.
Stewart lives in the apartment directly below Christopher Shumey. She was home Saturday afternoon, when she heard a loud crash from above. She said it was so violent, she went upstairs to see if everything was okay.
"He said yeah, my mom's here. We had a heated discussion and just kind of eluded to the fact that something had been thrown across the room," said Stewart.
A short time later, San Luis Obispo Police say Christopher Shumey shot and killed his mother, 65 year-old Karen Shumey... a beloved 8th grade history teacher at Vandenberg Middle School. Neighbor Ron Faulk was just a dozen feet away when it happened.
"I didn't want to go out there, I was so close, but I couldn't do a damn thing about it," He said Shumey worked in a winery in Solvang... and was quiet and private man.
"I'd bump into him here all the time, nice guy, good neighbor," said Faulk.
But Heather Stewart tells a different story. She said he was loud, and would pace the apartment at all hours of the night.
"He always seemed a little nervous, not agitated, but he had a nervous edge to him I guess you would say."
Heather said she met Karen Shumey a few weeks before the shooting, while cleaning out her son's apartment. She said she was a pleasant woman... who said her son was having health problems.
"Sweet lady, just there to clean her son's house. She was in and out several times during the last few weeks just cleaning," said Stewart.
Former students of Karen Shumey are leaving messages on KSBY.com and our Facebook page.
They describe her as a beloved teacher, so gave so much to her students.
Daniela Guzman said, "she was an amazing woman and teacher, she cared for her students. I will never forget her or the impact she had on my life."
Christine Cole said, "I'm so sorry to hear this. She inspired many and was well-loved."
Police have not released any information about what led to the shooting.
Christopher Shumey was arrested for murder and assault with a firearm against a peace officer.
He's currently in San Luis Obispo County Jail.

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2 years ago

Shooting victim identified as Lompoc Unified School District teacher

The Principal of Vandenberg Middle School, Kathi Froemming, confirmed that Saturday's shooting victim, Karen Shumey, worked as an 8th grade History teacher.

Shumey taught in the Lompoc Unified School District for more than 20 years. She was the department chair. Students are asked to call the counselor at 742-2700 with any questions.

Stay with KSBY News at 6 and ksby.com for more information on this story.

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2 years ago

San Luis Obispo police identify suspect and victim in deadly shooting

San Luis Obispo police have now identified the victim and suspect in the deadly shooting on Saturday. The suspect has been identified as 34-year-old Christopher John Shumey of San Luis Obispo and the victim as 65-year-old Karen Lee Shumey of Arroyo Grande. As far as their relationship, Karen Shumey is Christopher Shumey's mother. Police say Karen Shumey had gone to visit Christopher Shumey and they had a verbal argument.

This all unfolded around 2:30 pm on Saturday on the 1500 block of Beach Street. Police say they responded to a report of shots fired and a woman screaming. When the first officers arrived, they say the suspect fired one shot from a shotgun at the officers from a window in the upstairs apartment. The officers immediately took cover and were not injured. One officer talked the suspect into dropping the shotgun and surrendering. The suspect lowered himself from the window onto the ground below where he was taken into custody by the officers.

2 years ago

Update: Man in custody after deadly shooting

San Luis Obispo Police have a man in custody for the shooting of a woman at 2:30 this afternoon.

Officers say the 34-year old man is believed to be related to the victim, but they did not release her information.

It happened on the 1500 block of Beach Street. Officers say they received several calls this afternoon about gun shots. When they arrived they heard a shot fired and took cover. They saw a man in the upstairs of a building holding a shotgun. One officer began talking to the suspect, and after several minutes convinced the man to drop the gun. The suspect then lowered himself from the window and was taken into custody.

Officers are still investigating the incident.

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