Mental health could play role in Interstate 40 murder case
Bradley Stumpf told law enforcement that he was hearing voices in his head and had been for months
A man arrested early last week for the second-degree murder of 46-year-old Jason Hernando McCafferty reportedly told law enforcement he has been hearing voices in his head for several months, prompting the question of whether the mental state of Bradley Allen Stumpf played a part in the alleged murder.
Stumpf, 31, was arraigned in Kingman Justice Court for second-degree murder Tuesday, Feb. 12. Stumpf is being held on a $2 million cash bond. Dr. Laurence Schiff, a local psychiatrist who sometimes works with jails performing mental evaluations, said schizophrenia comes with an excess of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter partly responsible for the transmission of signals between brain neurons.
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that it could be schizophrenia,” Schiff said.
He continued, saying that schizophrenic individuals feel paranoid or delusional, and that psychotic people are mentally unorganized, act at the spur of the moment and act out. They can feel threatened when “boxed in.”
Schiff also said sometimes people claim a mental illness when they are not actually suffering from one.
Trooper Kameron Lee, Department of Public Safety public information officer, told The Daily Miner troopers responded to the Interstate 40 westbound off-ramp at Exit 51 at Stockton Hill Road at about 10:50 p.m. Monday after receiving a call about an unresponsive man inside a parked pickup truck.
Troopers and medical personnel came upon the man, McCafferty, in the truck. He was declared dead at the scene.
The alleged events of the day were laid out by the Department of Public Safety in court records obtained at Kingman Justice Court. In an interview with law enforcement, Stumpf reportedly said he and McCafferty were returning from Phoenix where they had been performing survey work.
He told troopers that “weird” music was playing on the radio while in the vehicle, and that he was getting upset because McCafferty was yelling at him. Stumpf also stated he has been hearing voices in his head for the last several months and was “experiencing that while in the vehicle,” according to the affidavit.
That affidavit also states that Stumpf said he pointed the gun at the victim, at which time he “blacked out.” He remembers the gun going off, and the vehicle going out of control. Stumpf told law enforcement he then pushed on the brake to stop the vehicle before stuffing the 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun between the seats and running from the truck.
He ran to a nearby Kingman residence where he knew the tenant. In later interviews with law enforcement, an individual associated with that residence said Stumpf was acting “erratic” upon arrival. Stumpf said something that suggested McCafferty had killed himself. According to that same individual, Stumpf at one point was lying on the floor in the fetal position saying “Just kill me, just kill me.”
Stumpf said he had an “infection in his head” and asked to be checked into a mental hospital.