A west Pasco man charged with shooting his neighbor in a confrontation over alleged BB gun incidents suffers from delusions that may have been fueled by prescription pain medications, a Spokane psychologist said.
Froilan Campos-Gonzalez Jr., 54, also believed he was defending himself when he shot Gregg Warehime because Warehime "had his hands around my throat," according to an evaluation completed by Mark Mays for the defense.
"He is not by nature an aggressive, predatory or hostile person. He is not a reckless and impulsive individual," Mays wrote. "The testing seems to reflect him well, as a person who wants to stay on the safe side of life, focuses upon security and safety more than adventure and risk, one who wishes to minimize conflict, discord and confrontation."
Mays' report was filed in Franklin County Superior Court where Campos-Gonzalez is charged with first-degree assault for the Dec. 8 shooting. Warehime, a 24-year-old nursing student, was paralyzed after the bullet entered his stomach then hit his spine.
Defense attorney Jim Egan had Mays evaluate Campos-Gonzalez at the Franklin County jail. Prosecutors had wanted Campos-Gonzalez to have a competency evaluation at Eastern State Hospital, but last week said that the defense's evaluation is sufficient.
Mays determined that Campos-Gonzalez was competent to stand trial -- Egan said that never was a concern for the defense -- and didn't suffer from a diminished capacity to form intent or a lack of sanity.
Campos-Gonzalez does, however, suffer from delusions and "has for some time," Egan told the Herald.
"He has developed a psychotic illness that is potentially, possibly related to his taking prescribed pain medications," Egan said, noting that Mays is the only one who has looked into that issue. "He's very suspicious of that as a possible cause of the delusions or an exacerbation of the delusions."
Egan wouldn't comment to the Herald on a defense strategy, and has yet to tell the court. The trial is April 25.
Campos-Gonzalez has been taking prescription medications to deal with chronic back pain, and Mays said paranoia and anxiety are possible side effects of prolonged and/or high levels of use of opiate medications used for pain.
Campos-Gonzalez told Mays about how he believed his neighbors had been shooting BB gun pellets or throwing rocks at his house, and putting dead birds or feces in his vents to cause his house to smell. He also had a hard time understanding why they were antagonizing him when he had tried to be neighborly by offering to mow their lawns, Mays' report said.
He called police and complained several times, but his family said they didn't notice the odor or other incidents.
"Some of the neighbors admit that yes, in fact, they had thrown rocks and admitted to the BB incident ... just because 'it was kind of fun to tease the guy that we thought was crazy.' They have admitted that," Egan said. "That's the scenario he found himself in after having called police and being convinced in his head, probably delusionally, that this was continuing and he went over to make it stop."
According to a five-page declaration by Warehime, Campos-Gonzalez pounded on his door and forced his way inside and began "shouting wildly about a BB gun." Warehime said Campos-Gonzalez would not get out of his house, so he pushed him against a wall, hit him in the face, then ducked to avoid being hit by the suspect.
Campos-Gonzalez allegedly pulled a pistol from behind him, pointed it at Warehime and fired while standing in the victim's front room. Warehime said he fell to the floor screaming "out of sheer terror" after he was shot and that he told Campos-Gonzalez he couldn't feel his legs, documents said.
Campos-Gonzalez then reportedly dragged Warehime backward by his hand into his bedroom, demanded the combination to the gun safe and then discovered there was no BB gun inside. After Campos-Gonzalez left, Warehime said he crawled to his phone and called 911.
According to Mays' report, Campos-Gonzalez said he was home alone watching TV on Dec. 8 when he again heard his home being pelted with BBs and decided enough was enough and went to confront his neighbor.
He said he took his gun with him because it went everywhere he went. Egan also noted that Campos-Gonzalez had a concealed weapons permit and carried his gun with him "without any incident or problem" for many years.
Campos-Gonzalez told Mays that his neighbor opened the door "apparently inviting him in. When he confronted him, the neighbor grabbed him, pushed him against the wall and he said 'he had his hands around my throat,' " documents said.
The "aggressiveness on the neighbor's part" is what caused him to automatically reach for his pistol, Mays wrote. Campos-Gonzalez was not aware of what happened after the gun discharged and "only later discovered the person had been so injured," documents said.
Campos-Gonzalez said he was somewhat confused by the situation and stress of the moment, and went back to his house to call 911 as the police arrived.