Police: Merhige attempted suicide

By Al Pefley - bioemail

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Fox 29 has obtained the arrest report which reveals new details about accused killer Paul Merhige's mental state.

When Merhige opened fire at a house in Jupiter Thanksgiving night, that was not the first time he used a gun.

His arrest report says he shot himself in the chest 15 years ago and has a history of mental illness. It also says he stopped taking his medication shortly before the shooting spree the night that left four people dead in Jupiter.

"He's a violent, evil man that has been. His whole life has been filled with hate," said Jim Sitton, whose 6-year-old daughter was one of the victims.

According to police, Merhige did not have a close relationship with his parents and his two sisters, Carla and Lisa, "as he was always accusing them of not taking care of him".

Merhige also blamed one of his relatives quote: "...for not treating him when he was sick with mono years ago."

Merhige's dad told police quote: "...every time they spoke to him he would bring all of the history up."

The police report says Merhige arrived at the house in Jupiter an hour and a half late for Thanksgiving dinner that night, and he came in and sat down but did not eat dinner and was quiet.

Merhige left the house, went to his car for 20-30 minutes and then went back in, and quote: "...Paul started firing just out of the blue."

On the police report, he lists his income as $900 a month in Social Security benefits, and printed the word "homeless" on the report where he was supposed to put his address.

He lists no other savings or cash; although, officials have said he withdrew more than $12,000 in cash shortly before the deadly massacre, when he pulled out a handgun and fired about 10 shots, turning a holiday into deadly chaos.

"I'm glad the monster is in the cage, you know. It's a start. It was hoping that it would be over with quickly and just be ended, but now, at least, he's caught. But now, the court process begins. I'm not looking forward to that," Sitton said.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, which operates the county jail,  says Merhige is on suicide watch, and does not have a TV in his cell, but is allowed to watch TV for up to an hour a day outside his cell.

He also is allowed out of his cell for exercise one hour a day and can have visitors twice a week.