SLO man pleads not guilty by reason of insanity in shooting death of mother

Christopher John Shumey
Christopher John Shumey

A man accused of killing his mother in September pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on Thursday.

Christopher Shumey, 34, entered his plea through his attorney, Pierre Blahnik, in the shooting death of Karen Shumey on Sept. 17.

Christopher Shumey told San Luis Obispo Police Department officials that he’d spent time in a psychiatric facility at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara for about 10 days before the shooting after talking about suicide, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department report.

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

He spent the night before the shooting at dinner and a movie with his mother. But when she showed up the next day, Christopher Shumey became angry that she arrived unannounced, later shooting her twice, he told police.

Christopher Shumey had worked at a winery in Solvang. But he was unemployed at the time of the shooting and had recently returned from a trip to Jamaica.

The case is scheduled for a trial-setting conference on Feb. 16 before Judge Michael Duffy, when lawyers will receive reports from doctors David Fennell and Carolyn Murphy.