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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / West County | Camarillo

Trial Set in Shooting at Software Firm

October 03, 2000|TRACY WILSON

A Dec. 11 trial date has been set for a 31-year-old Uzbek immigrant charged with murder for allegedly gunning down his boss during an office shooting last year.

Mikhail Khaimchayev pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and use of a firearm, during an arraignment Monday in Ventura County Superior Court.

Prosecutors say Khaimchayev shot computer software executive Sheldon Snyder, 36, nine times Jan. 13, 1999, after being fired months earlier as a computer programmer for Postal Innovations in Camarillo.

Although Snyder was not Khaimchayev's immediate supervisor and had nothing to do with hiring and firing employees, authorities believe the defendant shot Snyder because he was one of the company's owners.

Khaimchayev's trial was put on hold for about a year after a judge found that the defendant was suffering from a mental illness was not competent to stand trial.

Khaimchayev underwent treatment at a state mental hospital, and doctors there recently reported that he is now capable of standing trial. Deputy Public Defender Howard Asher has expressed concerns about his client's mental state, however, and has added a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

If convicted of murder, a jury would have to decide whether Khaimchayev was sane at the time of the killing and could tell right from wrong.

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