ASH patient pleads no contest to murdering roommate

January 1, 2016
Adam Paul Cary

Adam Paul Cary

Atascadero State Hospital patient Adam Cary has pleaded no contest to the murder of his former roommate at ASH. Cary, 35, strangled to death Kevin Allan Turner, 53.

On May 28, 2014, an ASH psychiatrist found Turner with his face stuffed in a dorm pillow and Cary on top of him. Cary, who is 6 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 225 pounds, reportedly attacked Turner while he was asleep.

Prosecutors reached an agreement with Cary, who pleaded no contest to first degree murder on Thursday. Prosecutors dismissed a count of aggravated assault, as well as some prior conviction charges.

Cary faces a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Earlier this year, the family of Turner filed a wrongful death lawsuit against ASH. The lawsuit alleges several patients in Cary’s unit complained he was violent and threatening.

Cary has previous convictions of attempted rape and assault. He allegedly was experiencing religious and sexual delusions.

At the time of the strangling, ASH was placing patients with the most serious and violent behavior in a special program. ASH officials should have placed Cary in the program, the suit alleges.

In April, Cary was found incompetent to stand trial. His competency was found to be restored on Dec. 1.

Cary’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 21 in the courtroom of Judge John Trice.


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7 Comments

  1. featheringwaters says:

    im the sister of kevin ,, im mary. I want you all to know I don’t care about the settlement , all I cared about was getting justice for my brother.. kevin.. and as of now we have received nothing..

    so on that note. all I want is my brother to be at peace.. I have his ashes here with me at my home.. no one can hurt him anymore if you new his life. you would be very heart broken to know who my brother was and what he has endured since birth..

    missing my brother kevin..
    mary

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. CentralcoastRN says:

    My guess is that it has to do with staffing issues, or patient/inmate rights issues or something. We don’t even give hospital patients their own rooms; how do you think the general public would feel if we start giving prisoners their own rooms? Hospitalized people get semi private rooms. Prison isn’t the Taj-Mahal, and Cary has “the right” not to be in solitary confinement.

    I don’t make this crap up. And I’m not saying I agree with it. I am just regurgitating it. Like I said, I don’t know how the staff work there…..

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. SLO_Johnny says:

    It is surprising that these type of attacks don’t occur more often. There are a significant number of mentally deranged people walking around the streets and part of the homeless population. This case shows that we should be able to force mentally ill people to take their medications. We need many more in-patient psychiatric facilities. The state has closed a large percentage of our public facilities and now we are using our prison system to control and treat the violently mentally ill population.

    Early intervention and treatment can avoid many of these tragic events.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • indigo1955 says:

      Yes, SLO County has announced they will be enacting Laura’s Law. This means those with severe mental illness can be medicated against their will. This is mostly meant for schizophrenics. There is a depot injection given monthly that will lessen or eliminate the voices that they hear. Often, these voices instruct them to kill or hurt others.

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  4. CentralcoastRN says:

    So this guy is “crazy”, but waits until the roommate is asleep and no staff are around to kill the guy. I am guessing he wasn’t anticipating the psychiatrist coming in. That doesn’t seem like a visit you have at a scheduled time you can predict, like a nurse or psych tech. A person can have delusions and still know right from wrong.

    The victim’s family will most likely get a very nice settlement from ASH, and they probably should. An inmate has “rights”, and the victim was serving the punishment for his crime. If ASH knew Cary was dangerous, they should have put him in his own cell and monitored him more closely. I think his punishment should be no candy and Bologna sandwiches for every meal until he can play nicely with others. For inmates, this seems to be the kind of crap that motivates them.

    But then, this inmate probably has “rights”, and withholding treats isn’t allowed even when you murder a human being in their sleep.

    Bless the staff that work at ASH. I don’t know how they do it.

    (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
    • mej says:

      I don’t understand why each of these ‘patients’ are not locked into their own private rooms. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment……having to go to sleep with Cary in your room.

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down

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