El Jebel double-homicide suspect says Lucifer possessed victims | AspenTimes.com
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El Jebel double-homicide suspect says Lucifer possessed victims

Randy Wyrick
Vail Daily
Williams Amaya

Accused double-murderer Williams Amaya bathed his bullets in holy water and then pumped those bullets into his aunt and uncle because they were possessed by Lucifer, Amaya told state psychiatrists who diagnosed him as delusional.

Amaya was in court Thursday after prosecutors asked for a second psychological evaluation.

Dr. John Hearn said he used 62 information sources about Amaya when he diagnosed him with “unspecified schizophrenia.” Amaya pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murder in those shootings, which happened July 12, 2014, in El Jebel.

“He didn’t just kill them. He already had the gun and went to a church and bathed the bullets in holy water,” Hearn said.

“Lucifer had to die”

In Hearn’s report, he quotes Amaya as saying, “It was Friday the 13, a day of wizards, a day of witches. The gun was already purchased. The pistol, it’s Hitler’s gun. It had to be done. Lucifer had to die.”

Amaya thinks he works for the government killing spies and that either his uncle and/or cousin were murdered by those spies, Hearn said.

“He said he killed Mayra and Eliseo (Lopez, his aunt and uncle) because they were possessed by Lucifer, and by killing them he was doing good for humanity,” Hearn said.

“I know I was doing something wrong, but if you’re told to kill Lucifer, you do it. You rid the world of war,” Hearn quotes Amaya in his report.

“Was there a non-psychotic reason for the killing?” Hearn asked, then answered his own question, saying he found no logical or rational reason for what Amaya did.

“On the other hand, he may have a reason we don’t know about,” Hearn said. “Delusional beliefs led him to believe his actions were just.”

“His mom screaming in pain”

Deputy District Attorney Joe Kirwan hammered Hearn about what might be considered delusional.

Kirwan brought up Amaya’s invective about the Lopez family dog, and that Amaya yelled, “I hate this f—ing dog,” Kirwan read from the reports.

“Is that delusional?” Kirwan asked Hearn.

Kirwan read police reports and statements from Amaya’s nephews.

“He heard a pop and his mom yelling,” Kirwan said. “He heard another pop, and heard his mom screaming in pain. He heard the dog barking and heard another pop and the dog stopped. He heard four or five more pops.”

And then it was quiet for a moment.

Amaya then shouted, “If you call the cops, I will kill you!” Kirwan said.

“Was that delusional?” Kirwan asked Hearn.

When asked if Amaya had killed his aunt and uncle, Amaya told police that he did not but that his nephews had “for the insurance money,” Kirwan said.

Amaya also told police he was the “son of Lucifer” and that he was under a lot of pressure because he was paying all the bills and rent, Kirwan read from the police reports.

After Amaya bought the gun at Cabella’s in Grand Junction, he stopped at the Olive Garden at the mall and ate a meal, Kirwan said, asking if that was delusional.

“Psychotic people got to eat,” Hearn said.

Amaya drove to Grand Junction and back that day, Kirwan said.

“Psychotic people sometimes drive,” Hearn said.

Amaya told sheriff’s investigators that he left the house after the shootings because “they wanted to kill me,” Kirwan read from the reports.

This is not Amaya’s first brush with the law. In 2012, Amaya choked his wife, Kirwan said.

On the other hand

“What’s the harm in getting a second evaluation?” Kirwan asked Hearn.

Hearn said if it comes down to harm, there probably would not be any harm.

Two mental-health specialists working with the prosecution said another evaluation is in order.

Dr. Neil Gowensmith is a forensic psychologist with the University of Denver. He worked at St. Elizabeth’s hospital, where John Hinkley is being held. Hinkley tried to kill former President Ronald Reagan.

Gowensmith and Dr. Hal Wortzel, forensic neuropsychiatrist, said Amaya should be evaluated again.

Gowensmith said he has done more than 50 sanity determinations, looking for things like evasiveness and lying.

“The stakes can be high and a person can be less than truthful. Sometimes they’ll minimize symptoms, or create symptoms that don’t exist at all,” Gowensmith said.

Gowensmith said cutting through that is called “effort testing,” to see if the person is “on the level.”

Doctors do all kinds of psychological testing because you can’t always take a person at their word, and it might be in their best interests to manipulate the information they provide, Gowensmith said.

Gowensmith said testing and reports about Amaya contained “deficiencies” and lacked reviews about his inconsistencies.

A delusional disorder tends to “stay in its lane,” they’re observable and consistent, and in Amaya’s case, include things such as paranoid delusions about the government, celebrities in his family, religious delusions and being upset when they come on the television news, Gowensmith said.

To be considered insane, a person has to be incapable of determining right from wrong when the person did the act, Gowensmith said.

He still gets locked away

On Jan. 7, District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman ordered a sanity evaluation on Amaya. Hearn did that evaluation.

Prosecutors asked for a second evaluation.

Dunkelman said Hearn’s evaluation was “thorough,” rejecting the prosecution’s assertions that it was inadequate or unfair.

While Dunkelman did not grant a second complete evaluation, he did order parts of the evaluation performed a second time within 28 days.

Amaya’s trial is scheduled for April 11 to 29 in Dunkelman’s court in Eagle.

If the jury finds Amaya not guilty by reason of insanity, in keeping with his plea, he still goes to the state mental hospital. If they don’t, he goes to prison, said Thea Reiff, Amaya’s attorney with the public defender’s office.

How long he’d stay in the state mental hospital is indeterminate. However, before he would be released, he’d have to come back before Dunkelman for a hearing. The judge would decide whether he presents a threat to public safety.

The shootings

On the day of the shootings, Amaya reportedly traveled to Cabella’s in Grand Junction and purchased the .380 caliber handgun, the weapon with which he allegedly killed his aunt and uncle, with whom he was living.

In a dispute that reportedly started with an argument over the family dog, Amaya allegedly shot Mayra Lorena Lopez, 40, and her husband, Eliseo Lopez, 42, in the Lopez home, located in a subdivision behind the El Jebel City Market.

The Lopez’ two sons escaped, and one called 911.

Before Amaya left the house, he shot into the beds of the two boys.

Police tracked Amaya’s cellphone and surrounded him at his employer’s business, Colorado Pool and Spa Scapes.

He moved the gun from his vehicle, put it in a bag and put it into his work vehicle, police said.

Police recovered the handgun during their search.


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