Johnson City Press Monday, December 22, 2014
Regional & National

Police say murder-suicide professor had meds, guns

August 26th, 2011 4:08 pm by JESSIE L. BONNER

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A former Idaho college professor who committed suicide after gunning down a graduate student he had recently dated had six guns and medications for bipolar disorder and severe anxiety in the hotel room where he died, police said Friday.

Investigators released new details, saying Katy Benoit, 22, reported that recently resigned University of Idaho professor Ernesto Bustamante, 31, threatened her several times with a gun and that their relationship ended in May after he put a gun to her head and told her how he would use it.

Benoit filed a sexual harassment complaint with the university on June 12 against Bustamante. He then denied the allegations and filed his own complaint against her on July 8, claiming defamation of character. Bustamante disclosed the two had had a close personal relationship.

Police received a call from Benoit on June 10 after the university referred her to address safety concerns. Moscow Police Lt. Dave Lehmitz said he advised Benoit of basic safety principles and told her to call police if there were any threatening or suspicious incidents.

The university contacted police on June 14 concerning reports of inappropriate behavior by Bustamante toward Benoit, Lehmitz said. But several attempts by law enforcement to contact Benoit were unsuccessful and the university informed the Moscow Police Department that she did not want law enforcement involved, Lehmitz said.

Bustamante resigned from the university effective last week. Benoit's roommates have said Bustamante had been asked to leave the university as a result of Benoit's complaint. The university has only confirmed that he resigned effective last Friday.

The university says school officials met with Benoit more than a dozen times to discuss her complaint, update her on their investigation into Bustamante and to urge her to take safety precautions. The final meeting came Aug. 22, the same day she was shot 11 times by Bustamante.

Police say Bustamante — who a friend says alternately referred to himself as a "psychopathic killer" and "the beast" — checked into a hotel room shortly after and shot himself in the head with a revolver.

Police later found five other handguns along with the revolver in the hotel room, as well as four different prescription medications used to treat severe anxiety, epilepsy, depression and bipolar disorder. His name was printed on all of the prescription bottles.

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