ASH patient pleads no contest to murdering roommate
January 1, 2016
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.