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Court remands suspect to mental health facility

September 8, 2012
By John Wickline - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

A Camden man will be under the court's jurisdiction for up to 40 years for the 2010 shooting of his father in what police said was an alcohol-fueled argument.

Justin Gum, 28, had been ruled incompetent to stand trial on the murder charge. Lewis County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Keadle determined Friday that the evidence indicated Gum could have been convicted of second-degree murder, which carries a penalty of 40 years in prison.

Gum will remain in the William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston while under court control.

Gum was charged with shooting his father, 55-year-old James Gum, during a domestic dispute at their home along U.S. 33 west on Sept. 19, 2010. The two had worked together at a Weston pizza restaurant the day before the shooting. When the two returned home, each began drinking in separate locations, according to Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney Gary Morris.

An argument later started, and Morris said Justin Gum left the room, found a shotgun and went to the basement to find ammunition. The shooting happened as Justin Gum was climbing the stairs, according to the prosecution. James Gum died from a single shot to the chest fired at a close range from a shotgun, according to the police investigation.

Justin Gum called police to the scene, and he was waiting at the house when police arrived.

Justin Gum had been charged with wanton endangerment in May 2009, according to court records, after it was alleged that he threatened to kill his father as he pointed a loaded gun at him. The court document stated that the father was able to wrestle the gun away from Justin Gum, who allegedly told police upon their arrival that he wanted to kill his father because his father was constantly yelling at him.

A few months later, the father refused to testify against his son, and those charges were dropped. Morris said he believes it was the same gun used in both incidents. Police took the gun into evidence following the events of Sept. 19.



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