Why is Chris Shellhammer still facing
trial in self-defense shooting?
Most of the recently published piece on the late Steve Laskey was completed quickly. Then, the links to other pieces
about the Dunbar and North Union industrial parks were added.
Lastly, the links to the videos of the February 26, 2014 special meeting were added. Or were started to be added.
Acknowledging the credits for the videos became even more difficult.
As many who read here know, the man known as Chuck U. Farley, who video recorded so many county meetings,
including prison board meetings, too, is named Chris Shellhammer.
In early 2018, Chris was charged with homicide and jailed without bond after he was getting beaten - - his jaw was
broken, his head was hit and swollen with the start of a concussion, his eye was swelling, he feared he was getting beat
unconscious - - and shot a man when he had probably his last conscious chance not to shoot and save himself.
Within a few hours, the only witness to the shooting, a young woman, told television cameras that Chris came in guns a
blazing and shot up the place. The next film clip showed the police saying it was all a drug deal gone bad. Really?
Then, as we heard more of the story, we shook their heads and angrily asked how does a man go into a home shooting
and shoot a man who goes down to the floor almost instantly, yet end up with a concussion, a broken jaw, a black eye and
a neck injury, as per hospital outpatient reports state after Chris was taken into custody, charged and jailed?
Nobody ever gets injured if he goes in guns a blazing and shoots someone who dies almost instantly.
Only in Fayette County's kangaroo courts could this type of a personal vendetta play out to keep a man jailed for 10
months, without bond, on bogus homicide charges.
Fayette's courts have not blinked when the witness and the borough cop who brought the homicide charges against Chris
both changed their stories. They changed their stories, yes.
Only in kangaroo courts do these things happen.
How does a district attorney and a judge allow this travesty to happen and keep the man jailed? How can judges who each
touch this case allow the ridiculous charge to be held for trial without telling the DA enough is enough?
Why was Chris, who shot in self defense, to save his own life, charged with homicide and held without bond for 10
months? Why is his self-defense case still in cue for a homicide trial? So the courts can indulge the witness and police to
change their stories again another time if they wish?
Judge's sudden recusal adds to pre-trial incarceration time
Recently, a county judge scheduled to hear motions in Chris' case suddenly recused herself after returning from a two-
week vacation. Perhaps she had good reason, but we think not.
Perhaps her feelings were hurt by social media posts Chris' mother made during that vacation, or perhaps it was another
personal reason that inspired her recusal.
Shame on us all if a judge can't be professional enough to be without bias towards a defendant if someone else who
knows the defendant says something unkind or painfully true. That judge is too unstable to hear all cases then, if she
cannot control her feelings of bias.
Regardless, the bottom line is that the judge's shameful recusal now translates to another couple months that Chris likely
will sit waiting in the county prison, for reasons which he had absolutely nothing to do with, judge.
The number of old prosecutorial misconduct cases against former county prosecutors still open in courts today is
As we read more and more in current day newspapers about deeds of the former district attorney as well as judges, it's no
wonder the courts think they can hold Chris in prison on these bogus charges till the cows come home without
God help Fayette County when some of these newer, more current day lawsuits hit the fan. There is one thing for certain.
Should Chris successfully sue the county, district attorney and courts for malicious prosecution one day, he surely will
deserve any windfall settlement that he may get.
Did 'Gateway Drug' protest tick off DA?
The longer Chris spends in the county prison waiting for trial the more personal the whole case seems to be.
Did Chris tick off the district attorney the day the lead prosecutor in a dramatic press conference declared marijuana to be
a gateway drug and Chris quickly took issue, sign and protested outside the courthouse?
The first time asked, what seemed, 10 months ago, to be a silly question, we thought, no way could a personal bias
influence serious charges being filed and held.
Ten months later, however, we see the disgusting bias. A district attorney's willingness to indulge a key witness and
arresting police to change their stories from their grandstanding initial statements to the media and a judge's recent
recusal from Chris' case, after 10 months, speak volumes.
Last our paths crossed, Chris was at a hearing to support a different defendant in her case of police and
prosecutorial misconduct. This editor told Chris that day that he was a hero at Rants&Raves for his dedication to
record meetings and stand his ground to record public meetings when he was told he could not.
Chris is still a hero here at Rants&Raves, in spite of what happened in January in Masontown.
Oddly, he's even more of a hero today, as his presence inside the county prison and reports may have got mentally ill and
cognitively impaired inmates to treatment sooner. We know that some conditions have improved inside the prison during
the last 10 months. Some of that, yes, can be attributed to a new warden that more guards may respect.
A good bit of it, though, is Chris, making a big difference.
Some inside got to vote for the first time earlier this month because only he seemed to remember that absentee ballots
were needed. Some now know they can file a Writ of Mandamus to petition the state supreme court's disciplinary division if
lawyers aren't actively working for their clients' releases or trials.
Chris spends a good bit of his day incarcerated reading legal books and ensures inmates' legal and civil rights are
respected. When they're not, they get word out. And a little piece of wrong sometimes is made right.
Some guards most certainly are happier today, too, than they were a year or three ago, because they're less likely now to
encounter abuse of inmates by peer guards as they once were. None of them exclusively thanked the new warden for that.
They credit Chris and then, the warden, in that order.
So do we.
17 Nov 18