Atascadero State Hospital patient who strangled roommate sentenced to 25 years to life

Adam Paul Cary
Adam Paul Cary

A former patient at Atascadero State Hospital convicted last month of strangling his roommate to death in the dorm they shared in 2014 was sentenced Thursday to serve 25 years to life in state prison.

Adam Paul Cary, 35, will serve at least 25 years in state prison before he is eligible for parole, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Cary was convicted on New Year’s Eve of first-degree murder in the death of Kevin Allan Turner, 54, on May 28, 2014. He pleaded no contest to the charge.

According to police, a psychiatrist found the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Cary on top of Turner in their dorm with Turner’s face in his own pillow. Cary allegedly immediately confessed to the killing. Cary had a documented history of violent and delusional behavior and was initially declared incompetent to stand trial but was restored to competency at a Dec. 1 hearing.

In April, Turner’s family filed a civil lawsuit against Atascadero State Hospital, alleging the staff should not have placed him in a room with Cary.