Case of SLO man accused of shooting mother to death will go to trial

Christopher John Shumey
Christopher John Shumey

The San Luis Obispo man who allegedly shot his mother to death in September waived his right to cross-examination in a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

Christopher Shumey, 34, who’s accused of killing his mother, Karen Shumey, on Sept. 17, appeared before Judge Michael Duffy in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

His attorney, Pierre Blahnik, said in court that he’s considering entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity when Shumey appears for a second arraignment on Jan. 5. Shumey pleaded not guilty in October to charges of murder and assault with a firearm against a policeman.

Shumey had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he told investigators after his arrest, saying that he had “felt off” for about a month before the shooting.

Worried about her son, Karen Shumey tried calling him and visited his apartment at Beach and Buchon streets, where the shooting occurred, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department report.

Christopher Shumey and his father, Robert Shumey, both told police that he’d spent time in a psychiatric facility at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital about 10 days prior to the shooting after talking about suicide, according to the report.

By waiving his right to cross-examination in the preliminary hearing, Shumey allowed Duffy to decide if information in the police report and certain physical evidence were sufficient to proceed to trial. Duffy ruled that sufficient evidence existed.