Douglas Chanthabouly was sentenced yesterday to 23 years behind bars for the shooting death of Samnang Kok. Chanthabouly shot Kok at point-blank range in the halls of Foss High School in Tacoma, Washington back in 2007. No real motive was ever discovered.
Prosecutors had charged Chanthabouly with first-degree murder but the jury convicted him of second-degree murder.
Pierce County (Wash.) Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper has ruled that Douglas S. Chanthabouly can not be declared not guilty by reason of insanity. Culpepper pointed out that Chanthabouly’s actions after he gunned down Samnang Kok in the halls of Tacoma’s Foss High School show that Chanthabouly definitely knew right from wrong.
Chanthabouly had fled the scene and initially denied shooting Kok.
I’ve been following the Foss High School shooting from Tacoma for a couple of years now. When it happened Douglas Chanthabouly shot and killed Samnang Kok. That much was never a mystery. What was a mystery was the motive behind the shooting. A lot of people including myself thought the shooting might have been gang related. Now a psychologist is saying that it’s gang related…sort of.
It’s alleged that Chanthabouly suffers from schizophrenia and heard voices. Psychologist Julie Gallagher interviewed Chanthabouly extensively for the prosecution. According to her Chanthabouly shot Kok because he felt that Kok was a gang member that was intent on hurting his family.
However that doesn’t automatically give him a free pass on an insanity plea. Ms. Gallagher also stated that it was clear that Chanthabouly did know right from wrong at the time of the shooting. Considering that Chanthabouly ran away after the shooting and tried to hide the gun means that he knew what he did at the time was wrong.
Even if he is found not guilty by reason of insanity he’ll more than likely be confined in the bug house for life. If he’s convicted of murder he’s looking at 31 years.
Douglas S. Chanthabouly is the gunman from Foss High School in Tacoma who fatally shot Samnang Kok last year. The last we heard he was found mentally fit to stand trial. Apparently something happened between August and now because he’s declared mentally incompetent.
His trial was set to start on February 4th but that has been pushed back pending the results of a 90 day judge ordered stay at a mental facility.
The last we heard anything about the shooting at Foss High in Washington State gunman Douglas S. Chanthabouly was ordered to undergo a psych exam.
A psychiatrist there reported last month that the teen suffers from psychosis, and prescribed a battery of drugs to treat it, according to court documents.
So a judge has ruled that Chanthabouly is fit to stand trial.
Of course his defense team will still more than likely be pursuing an insanity defense.
A psychiatrist hired by the defense has diagnosed Chanthabouly with a “major mental disorder,” John McNeish, one of the two public defenders assigned to represent the teenager, told Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper during a hearing.
McNeish did not say from what mental disease his client suffers or what the possible mental defense would be.
They haven’t picked out their mental disease yet.
To successfully argue insanity, his lawyers would have to convince a judge that Chanthabouly didn’t know the difference between right or wrong or couldn’t perceive the nature and quality of what he was doing when Kok was shot.
A teacher at Foss High School, where Douglas Chanthabouly, shot Samnang Kok to death, found a backpack belonging to Chanthabouly two days after the shooting. In turn the teacher turned the backpack over to police. Police are hoping to find documents related to motive in the bag.
“The affiant recovered a notebook with “LOC” written inside along with two blue bandanas,” Krause said. “The affiant also observed that the clothes in the closet were mainly blue or black in color. The affiant is aware that the term LOC is commonly associated with a Cambodian gang known as the “Loced Out Crips. Their colors are blue.”
Police are still saying the shooting wasn’t gang related but I still disagree. I’m still betting that Chanthabouly was trying to impress the gang and saw this as a way of getting in. But that remains to be seen.
It seems that when Douglas Chanthabouly shot Samnang Kok in the halls of Foss High School it wasn’t the first time that Chanthabouly had brought a gun to school.
Police say that Chanthabouly’s brother told them that he had previously seen his brother with other guns at previous times. Chanthabouly’s brother also said that Douglas was not in a gang but liked to hang out with gangs and dressed like them. When police searched Chanthabouly’s home they found three boxes of ammunition, a black carry case for a pistol with a holster and a .38-caliber revolver, notebooks, letters and two blue bandannas.
So he wasn’t a gang member but a gang-wannabe. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that he shot Samnang Kok to try to get some kind of respect the gang.