Apr 4, 2013 7:27 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News
Christopher Shumey, the San Luis Obispo man convicted of murdering his mother, was sentenced on Thursday morning. Judge Michael Duffy handed down 40 years to life in prison. Shumey's attorney Pierre Blahnik told KSBY his client will have to serve 40 years before he is eligible for parole.
Shumey shot and killed his mother, Karen Shumey, in 2011. Karen was a beloved teacher at Vandenberg Middle School. In February, Shumey was found guilty of second-degree murder and guilty of assault on a peace officer. A jury also found that Shumey was sane at the time of his mother's murder.
On Thursday, Shumey's father, Robert, told the court that the family was upset with the jury's 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 told the court.
Robert also said he was disappointed in how San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Karen Gray handled the trial. Robert said he felt like his wife was portrayed as an overbearing mother, and that was perhaps the motive as to why Shumey shot her, but he said only he knows their relationship, and he said it was "caring" and "a world full of many hugs".
Robert said in court, "Our family, the victim's family, along with the defense attorney, had requested that graphic photographs of my wife's mutilated body not be displayed in court."
Robert said there was no motive behind Shumey's shooting. He said Shumey simply has a mental illness.
Gray told the judge that Shumey had every opportunity for treatment prior to the crime, and there is treatment for the mentally ill in state prison. She also said that Shumey remains a dangerous person, and society needs to be protected from him.
Robert and Shumey's aunt, who is the victim's sister, pleaded to Judge Duffy to let Shumey serve his sentence in a mental institution.
Shumey's aunt cried, "We ask that you do whatever is within your power to recommend Christopher to an institution prepared to address his medical needs."
Judge Duffy told Shumey he will make a recommendation to the prison to place Shumey in a hospital setting, but ultimately, it is up the prison where Shumey will serve his sentence.
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