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Report charts Cragun's descent into paranoia

by KEITH KINNAIRD
Hagadone News Network | December 24, 2010 10:33 AM

SANDPOINT -- Court documents in Bonner County indicate Larry Ward Cragun became increasingly paranoid prior to going on a hammer-wielding rampage in Bayview which left one person dead and three others injured.

Cragun is charged in Kootenai County with first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with the attack on his neighbors on Dec. 20.

Patricia Heath, 43, was killed in the rampage. Lorraine Wallis, 58, was critically injured. Heath's 40-year-old husband, Michael, was injured, as was their 21-year-old son, Jedidiah.

At the time of the attack, Cragun was on probation in Bonner County for a 2004 felony domestic violence case. After back-to-back stints in the Idaho Department of Corrections' retained jurisdiction program, Cragun was placed on probation for five years.

Cragun, 31, subsequently participated in an anger management course and a men's church study group, underwent marriage counseling and took a child readiness course.

"It appeared that Mr. Cragun was meeting his conditions of probation," Probation and Parole Officer Steve Veare said in a Dec. 23 probation violation report. The violation results from the attacks in Bayview.

But since March of this year, Cragun had contacted law enforcement 20-25 times to report that his neighbors had burglarized his home and poisoned him. Kootenai County sheriff's officials have stated that Cragun's claims against his neighbors were unfounded.

"In September during an office visit some concerns arose with Mr. Cragun feeling as if he was being followed by the 'Feds' as well as the possibility that his house was being 'bugged'," Veare wrote.

Veare said in the report that he had discussed mental health treatment with Cragun, but he advised that he was already in treatment and had completed a mental health evaluation. Veare sought Cragun's medical records, but it was unclear in the report if he gained access to them prior to the rampage.

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