Jan 23, 2013 9:16 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Jury selection begins on local murder trial

A San Luis Obispo courtroom filled with potential jurors waited on Wednesday to find out if they would be chosen to sit in on one of the biggest local murder trials of the year.

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy sorted through the throngs of people, to pick a jury for the case against 35-year old Christopher Shumey. Shumey is accused of shooting and killing his mother, 65-year old Karen Shumey in September 2011.

Judge Duffy said he hoped to have a jury selected by Thursday. He told the room full of potential jurors that whoever gets chosen should be prepared to serve for a few weeks. He also told them they would not be hearing any specific details about the case on Wednesday, nor Thursday, but he urged them to stay away from reading anything about it on the Internet. Judge Duffy prohibited anyone from talking about the case outside of court.

Shumey sat quietly in court on Wednesday, alongside his attorney Pierre Blahnik, as Judge Duffy questioned potential jurors. Some cited medical and financial reasons for not being able to serve.

The jurors that will eventually be chosen for the case, will likely hear details stemming from that September day, when Shumey allegedly shot and killed his mother outside of his apartment in San Luis Obispo. He faces charges of first-degree murder, and assault with a firearm on a police officer. Shumey has plead not guilty by reason of insanity to those charges.

Karen was a beloved eighth-grade teacher at Vandenberg Middle School. Those who knew her say she gave so much to her students.

Shumey remains in county jail, without bail. Testimony is expected to start next week.

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