A patient at Atascadero State Hospital was convicted of first-degree murder in the strangling death of his roommate Thursday after pleading no contest in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
Adam Paul Cary, 35, will serve a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison before he is eligible to seek parole, according to a San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office news release.
In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dismissed a count of aggravated assault as well as several prior conviction allegations.
He was accused of strangling to death fellow patient Kevin Allan Turner, 54, on May 28, 2014. According to police reports, a psychiatrist found the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Cary on top of Turner in a dorm they shared, with the victim’s face in his own pillow. Cary allegedly confessed to the killing immediately after.
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He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 26 before Superior Court Judge John Trice.
In April, Turner’s family filed a civil lawsuit against Atascadero State Hospital claiming that staff didn’t properly assess Cary and should not have placed him in a room with Turner. The status of those proceedings were not immediately available Thursday.