(NV) Intruder killed by resident was a convicted murderer 08-06-03
August 06, 2003
Gardnerville intruder who was killed was convicted murderer
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (AP) - The violent intruder who was shot and killed
when he broke into a Gardnerville home over the weekend was a convicted
murderer who spent about 10 years in California mental hospitals,
authorities said Wednesday.
Walter Hetrick, 40, Antioch, Calif., was declared legally insane at one
point and had been arrested on drug charges as recently as January but
was released from state supervision in California about three months
ago, Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said.
Hetrick was found guilty in the shooting death of his best friend in
Antioch in October 1984 and sentenced in March 1985 to 27 years to life
incarceration, Pierini said in a statement Wednesday.
He initially was sentenced to Atascadero State Hospital but also spent
time over a 10-year period at state hospitals in Patton and Napa, "where
he had been placed under a California Penal Code deeming him insane,"
the sheriff said.
Hetrick had been in and out of the institutions from time to time on
different supervised programs. It was not immediately clear at exactly
what point he was declared insane, whether he served time in state
prison or under what circumstances he was released, a sheriff's
Charles Cryderman, 52, shot Hetrick three times after Hetrick threw
rocks through windows and got into Cryderman's home Saturday night.
Hetrick, 6-1, 230 pounds, was taken to a nearby medical center, where he
died of a severed artery.
"He didn't have a weapon, but this man's size was very large, and
apparently the rage in his voice and in his face terrified the
homeowner," Pierini said.
"We still have no idea why he picked that house or why he was even in
this area. Right now we're looking at his emotional stability," the
Cryderman told investigators that he and his family were asleep when he
heard something at the front door.
"It wasn't a knock. It was like someone rattling the door knob," Pierini
"He went to the door, opened it and said, 'What do you want?' but the
person was irrational and violent so he told the man, 'Look, there's no
one here by that name, and I don't even know anyone by that name,'"
The sheriff said Hetrick threatened to go into the house, so Cryderman
locked the door and moved his wife and kids into another room.
"The man then became more enraged and more violent," Pierini said,
adding that Cryderman "felt he was in obvious danger." "He dialed 911. I
listened to that tape," Pierini said.
On the tape, Cryderman said the man was throwing bricks through the
window and told dispatchers he was going to grab his gun. Pierini said
it appears Hetrick went to a side door, entered the home and came at
Cryderman, who then shot him.
The 911 call came in at 11:24 p.m. About one minute later, Cryderman
fired five shots at Hetrick with a .357-caliber revolver, hitting him
three times: in the left leg, left hip and left shoulder, authorities
When officers arrived, they found Hetrick lying inside at a side
entrance. He was taken by ambulance to Carson Valley Medical Center
where he was pronounced dead at 12:23 a.m. Sunday.
An autopsy listed the cause of death as the bullet wound to his hip,
which severed his femoral artery.
Pierini said the investigation is expected to be completed and submitted
to the district attorney's office for review by the end of the week.
No charges have been filed.