Shawn Ney, the 32-year-old man charged with murdering Steven Calderwood and attempting to murder his wife Sarah Ney on July 10, has been found competent to stand trial, a spokesman for the Kansas Attorney General’s office said. Ney has been at Larned State Hospital for evaluation, but now his preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 18.
Assistant Attorney General Travis Harrod has been handling the case for the state. Ney is represented by Robert Anderson Ellinwood.
Shawn Ney is alleged to have shot his estranged wife and Calderwood with a shotgun at 48 NE 20 Road on the morning of July 10. He then fled to his residence at 723 East Fourth St. in Hoisington, refusing to come out for several hours. During that time, he poured gasoline, started a fire and went into the bathroom with the shotgun. Officers entered and subdued him using a Taser stun gun; then firefighters were allowed to enter.
Court motions filed by Anderson, who requested psychological evaluations for Ney, describe the defendant’s 18-year history of mental illness, including treatment he was receiving in July for being bi-polar. He also reportedly hanged himself in the Barton County Jail in an unsuccessful suicide attempt in 1995 or 1996.
Prior to legal council being appointed, Ney reportedly wrote such statements as "I was not myself when this crime occurred," "A voice told me to shoot and I did," "I only intended to harm myself," and "Why didn’t I stay on my meds, none of this would have happened."
The motions also describe how he has reported hearing the voices of God, the devil, deceased relatives and other people, including Abraham Lincoln, since his mother’s passing 1 1/2 years ago. Citing Ney’s statements and a recording of a call to 911, Anderson notes officers were dispatched to 48 NE 20 Road prior to the shooting, in reference to a suicidal person.
Shawn Ney had borrowed the shotgun from Barton County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy Robert Barlow "with the intent to kill himself," the motion filed by Anderson states. He made numerous phone calls to Barlow and others while barricaded in his house.
The same court document states Ney tried shoot himself at his home, but his toe was too big to pull the trigger and the gun barrel was too long. He cut the barrel so he could pull the trigger with his finger, poured gas throughout the house and then sat in the bathroom with the gun intending to shoot himself.