5/9/2011 6:00:00 AM Trial set for 2008 Kingman murder
Photo by SUZANNE ADAMS/ Miner Main image: The body of 59-year-old John Guerrero was discovered in the remains of this house fire on Packard Avenue in Sept. 2008. Guerrero’s son, Shawn, is charged with killing his father and then setting fire to the family’s home. Inset image: Shawn Guerrero.
Erin Taylor Miner Staff Reporter
KINGMAN - A trial date has been set in the case of a man accused of killing his father and then setting fire to the family's north Kingman home.
It's been almost three years since 29-year-old Shawn Avery Guerrero was arrested in the death of his father, 59-year-old John Guerrero. The elder Guerrero was discovered dead inside his home in the 3000 block of Packard Avenue Sept. 27, 2008, from gunshot wounds to his neck and back. The house was reportedly set on fire after the shooting. The family's dog, Able, died in the fire.
Guerrero was considered an immediate suspect in the case and was arrested by Tempe police the next day after an attempt to locate was issued. Neighbors allegedly saw Guerrero arrive shortly before the fire started and leave immediately after.
The fire took place five months after the younger Guerrero was arrested on disorderly conduct charges for shooting out a television set in front of his mother.
Guerrero has been in jail since being arrested on the murder charges. In February 2010, he was charged with striking and scratching a detention officer inside his jail cell.
Guerrero's lawyer, public defender Jason Steffen, filed a motion to have all three cases consolidated into one trial and Mohave Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen agreed during a hearing Friday.
Steffen said the defense will pursue a "guilty but insane" defense and that one trial would make sense, given that the same defense will be applied in each case. Several expert medical witnesses are expected to testify and it makes it both easier on them and less expensive to the state to have them come to Kingman for one trial rather than three, he said.
Court documents indicate that friends and family told officials Guerrero suffered some sort of nervous breakdown in spring 2002. Counselors and other experts have said that Guerrero may suffer from a paranoid personality disorder, along with prominent disassociate symptoms as well as thought disorganization and psychosis.
Steffen had hoped to expedite the case of the court's calendar since he will be leaving the public defender's office Aug. 5 and didn't want to have to assign new lead counsel to the case. Prosecutor Doug Camacho said he expected the trial on the murder charges alone to take a week and said the consolidated cases will now stretch the case to several more days.
The trial is currently scheduled for July 11.
Jantzen also ordered Guerrero to comply with a request by the state to have a CAT scan of his brain done, since he intends to pursue an insanity defense.