More misery for boy who survived murder-suicide ordeal

The surviving victim of a murder-suicide in Mound House in 2003 is in critical condition in a California hospital after his guardians allegedly failed to properly care for the 14-year-old paralyzed Carson City boy.

Christopher Schmerber is being treated at a hospital in Oakland for ulcerated bed sores and renal failure possibly related to allegations he was malnourished, court records indicate.

Christopher was 9 years old when his mother, Tamara Schmerber, shot his father to death in the family's Pyrite Drive home in November 2003.

Tamara Schmerber then shot Christopher twice in the back before turning the gun on herself. The family had been struggling with finances in the months leading up to the shootings.

The incident was heard through the bedroom door by Christopher's 12-year-old sister, who told police her mother came to her room three times during the shootings to tell her to stay inside.

Christopher's paralysis is a result of the shooting.

His aunt, Lorraine Bowers, 46, and her husband, James Bowers, 48, were arrested on charges of felony child neglect and endangerment on April 3.

Court records indicate that Christopher was taken to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center on Feb. 17 with at least four severely infected bed sores.

The Bowerses denied intentionally harming Christopher, according to police reports.

Lorraine Bowers, a registered nurse, allegedly explained to a deputy that she was the boy's primary caregiver, but she'd been out of town caring for her sick mother between Jan. 21 and Feb. 17, when the sores progressed to Stage IV.

Stage IV indicates the most severe stage of bed sores, with considerable skin loss and damage to muscle, bone, joints and possibly other supporting structures. Stage IV bed sores are extremely difficult to heal and are often complicated by infection, which can be lethal, according to the Mayo Clinic.

According to, people suffering from paralysis would need someone to help them change position every two hours to prevent bed sores from forming.

After a review of the case by the district attorney's office, warrants were issued for both James and Lorraine Bowers.

A preliminary hearing in the case scheduled for next week has been continued. No new date has been set.

James Bowers is being held on $25,000 bail.

Lorraine Bowers was released on bail Friday. A message left for her was not returned.


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