Man accused of killing son has 2nd sanity check

Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn on Wednesday ordered accused killer Allen Grabe to undergo a second sanity evaluation with state doctors in Pueblo.

Flynn signed off on a motion from the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office, which argued an evaluation completed in May by a doctor at the Colorado Mental Health Institute was inadequate.

The Pueblo doctor concluded Grabe was insane in September 2008 when he repeatedly shot his 13-year-old son, Jacob, killing the boy.

Grabe, 52, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in January to charges of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in his son’s death.

Steve Colvin, Grabe’s public defender, didn’t object to the new evaluation.
In his criticism of the Pueblo report, Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein cited the doctor’s summary of Grabe’s case. The doctor said Grabe couldn’t have formed the mental state needed to commit murder. At the same time, the report said Grabe knew the difference between right and wrong, Rubinstein said.

The doctor also wrote that Grabe “had decided to perform what he felt was a mercy killing.”

Grabe allegedly said his son would be “better off in heaven.”

Rubinstein argues the “mercy” statement suggests Grabe was able to form the mental state needed for murder, contrary to the doctor’s own written summary.

“I’m not convinced the doctor who did the evaluation knew the legal definition of insanity,” the prosecutor said.

Under Colorado law, a person is insane if they are found to be “diseased or defective of the mind” at the time a crime was committed, and unable to tell right from wrong.

Friends and family described the Grabes as devout Christians who attended a small church in Whitewater, while Allen Grabe ran a window-washing business out of the family’s Pear Park home. Grabe washed windows for numerous Main Street business owners for several years.

On Sept. 11, 2008, Allen Grabe allegedly shot his son nine times as the boy was sleeping in his bed. Grabe fired several shots at his son, walked into a hallway and told his wife, “I had to kill him because you were ruining him,” according to an arrest affidavit.

He then walked back in his son’s room and fired more rounds, the affidavit said.
Jacob Grabe had been treated for Asperger’s syndrome, a neurological disorder similar to autism.

Among other criticisms of the sanity evaluation from Pueblo, Rubinstein said the doctor offered no analysis on why he believed Grabe was incapable of forming the mental state needed for murder. Rubinstein also said the doctor didn’t indicate if Grabe was evaluated for “malingering” — fabricating or exaggerating symptoms of a mental disorder.

Further muddying the sanity question is yet another evaluation, which was completed by a doctor hired by Grabe’s defense. The defense’s evaluation found Grabe was insane, but offered a series of conclusions contradicting the report from Pueblo.

In that second report, a doctor determined Grabe couldn’t tell right from wrong, but could have formed the mental state needed to commit murder.

Reports on Grabe’s sanity were removed from public court files at the Mesa County Justice Center. Court officials cited federal privacy laws in removing the documents.

Grabe will be taken back to Pueblo and is scheduled to be back in Mesa County on July 29.


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