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Rogue River man found guilty except for insanity for 2015 murder

A Rogue River man was found guilty except for insanity on a murder charge Friday after doctors determined he had suffered from schizophrenia at the time of the crime, officials said.

Matthew Shawn Hannon, 31, was committed to the state mental hospital and sentenced to 25 years to life under the Psychiatric Security Review Board by Jackson County Circuit Judge David Hoppe.

The Jackson County District Attorney's Office in a release said the diagnosis of schizophrenia meant Hannon "lacked substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct and/or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law."

According to forensic evaluations conducted by Dr. Les Goldmann in April and by Dr. Cynthia L. Stokes in June, Hannon was affected by his mental disease at the time of the murder, and not by alcohol or controlled substances.

Hannon was arrested in July 2015 after stabbing Frank Morgan Wheeler, 45, in the back and arm with a pocket knife in the 14000 block of East Evans Creek Road in Rogue River.

Hannon, his mother, uncle, brother and Wheeler were spending time together earlier that night, according to the DA's release. When Hannon's mother overdosed on a controlled substance around 2:30 a.m., Wheeler performed CPR on her while Hannon's uncle called 911. Hannon pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed Wheeler in his back and arm, under the delusion that Wheeler was assaulting his mother. He later told police he stabbed Wheeler because Wheeler was "beating the crap out of my mom."

Wheeler, Hannon and his brother ran into the woods after the stabbing, the DA's release said. Hannon's uncle, unaware of the stabbing, accompanied his sister to the hospital.

A friend of Wheeler's, who lives nearby, reportedly talked to Wheeler after the stabbing at 3 a.m. and offered to call 911. Wheeler denied the offer of help. The friend's wife told police she saw Wheeler drive back to the 14000 block of East Evans Creek Road at 7:15 a.m.

Hannon's uncle left the hospital and returned to the house after his sister was stabilized at 6:30 a.m. He slept until noon, when he found Wheeler sitting on the ground next to his vehicle. Hannon's uncle offered to call 911 but Wheeler refused. He found Wheeler unresponsive half an hour later. Officers who responded determined Wheeler was dead at the scene.

The medical examiner determined that Wheeler likely would have survived had he sought medical attention.

Police detained Hannon the same day on Queens Branch Road, where he was living as a transient.

— Reach reporting intern Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or tnguyen@mailtribune.com.

Matthew Hannon