Accused gunman enters insanity plea

He's charged with bringing rifle into Salmon Creek building

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Vancouver man pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Friday to charges that he brought a rifle into a Salmon Creek medical building late last month.

Legal proceedings against Gregory Castro on charges of first-degree assault, firearm theft and unlawful possession of a firearm had been suspended until Judge Barbara Johnson ruled that he is competent to stand trial. His trial is scheduled for July 21.

On May 2, she had ordered a mental health evaluation of Castro, 39, at the request of his attorney, Neil Anderson of Vancouver Defenders.

Mental health professionals at Western State Hospital found that Castro was competent to stand trial, which means that he's able to assist in his own defense. A person can have a mental illness and still be found competent.

Castro brought the rifle about 10 a.m. April 28 to the Associates for Psychiatric & Mental Health clinic because he wanted to get answers from his mental health provider about whether the FBI had been following him, according to court records.

The clinic is on the third floor of the University Plaza medical building, 14508 N.E. 20th Ave., but the entire building was evacuated during the incident.

Castro later told sheriff's investigators that he felt his mental health has deteriorated recently and he had become paranoid that the FBI was following him, according to court records.

He remains in the Clark County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Brothers sentenced

Two Vancouver brothers were each sentenced to six months in jail Thursday related to a Dec. 31 dispute in the Covington neighborhood that ended with a shattered rear window of an occupied car.

Hector A. Nunez, 24, and his brother, Juan R. Granillo Jr., 22, were originally arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault. They were accused of shooting into the back window of a vehicle occupied by three men with whom they'd just had a dispute.

Nunez was holding a rifle during the incident. However, a witness told investigators Nunez didn't shoot into the back window but actually hurled a rock, causing the glass to shatter, according to attorneys in the case.

"That also was what both defendants were claiming," said Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino. "We didn't feel we could disprove that."

As part of a plea deal, Nunez pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Granillo pleaded guilty to second-degree rendering criminal assistance in connection to the Dec. 31 incident. He also pleaded guilty to a second-degree burglary charge stemming from a June 24, 2012, break-in at Smokin' J's smoke shop, 6307 N.E. 117th Ave. DNA extracted from blood found near a shattered window in the shop linked the burglary to Granillo, Gasperino said.

Vancouver couple face Oregon charges

A Vancouver couple have been arrested on suspicion of fraudulently acquiring health care benefits and food stamps in Oregon while living in Vancouver, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office.

Joseph J. Schneider, 63, and Jeanne C. Schneider, 66, allegedly were dishonest in their application for the Oregon Health Plan and received more than $180,000 in benefits for which they were ineligible.

Joseph Schneider also is allegedly tied to two Portland auto crushing businesses that police raided as part of an investigation into an auto theft ring.

The Schneiders are in the Clark County Jail pending extradition to Oregon on suspicion of about 50 criminal counts, including theft, unlawfully obtaining public assistance and unlawfully using a food stamp benefit or commodity.

"They lived there for eight years in the same house in Vancouver," said Kevin Demer, a Multnomah County, Ore., deputy district attorney.

On April 8, police raided the couple's house at 516 W. Fourth Plain Blvd. in Vancouver's Carter Park neighborhood in connection with the auto theft investigation. They allegedly found a meth lab inside.

At that time, Jeanne Schneider was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Another occupant of the house, Brian T. Schneider, 45, was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.