SPOKANE-- A University of Idaho professor who killed a graduate student he had dated and then committed suicide in August had talked about shooting students in his classroom during the fall of 2010.
KREM 2 News received personnel records, emails and thousands of other documents related to Ernesto Bustamante on Thursday.
A student who evaluated Bustamante last fall said the assistant psychology professor "talked about shooting students, which was disturbing." The student also said Bustamante implied that he and the students should be "drunk and high" every other day.
Bustamante was found dead in his hotel room Aug. 23 with guns and medications for bipolar disorder and severe anxiety. Police a day earlier found the body of 22-year-old Katy Benoit, who was shot outside her Moscow home.
In documents released by the University of Idaho, Katie Benoit placed a complaint with the Office of Human Rights, Access and Inclusion charging Ernesto Bustamante with sexual harassment and threats of violence.
In the document sent on June 12th 2011, Benoit charges Bustamante with sexual harassment from the end of fall 2010 through the middle of the 2011 spring semester. Benoit stated that she “witnessed a plethora of inappropriate sexual comments…along with threats and unpredictable behavior.”
Benoit stated that Bustamante on multiple occasions responded to students by saying “it’s never a good idea to piss me off”.
Benoit claimed that Bustamante had at least 5 guns which he carried everywhere including campus. Benoit stated that Bustamante claimed to have murdered approximately 50 people in his easier years.
Benoit requested help switching advisors and classes she was enrolled in.
Bustamante responded to the allegations with a letter dated on July 8th, 2011. Bustamante stated that “Ms. Benoit showed advanced knowledge, skills, abilities, and great potential”. He discusses the two developing a strong bond professionally through different academic activities.
Bustamante claimed that through the spring 2011 semester they developed a strong friendship and he later realized “Ms. Benoit has had and continues to have, a history of drug use and distribution.” He claimed he witnessed Benoit using and selling marijuana and other controlled substances.
Bustamante referenced deterioration in Benoit’s academic performance throughout the 2011 spring semester. He noted that Benoit had also stolen prescriptions from him.
Bustamante called Benoit's claim’s outrageous” and claimed to have no violent record to support the allegations.
To read Katie Benoit’s full letter to the University of Idaho click here.
To read Ernesto Bustamante’s full response to Benoit’s allegations click here.