Napa State patient accused of murder
Friday, May 10, 2002
By MARSHA DORGAN
Register Staff Writer
Napa State Hospital patient Anthony Clark Gore, 39, was arraigned on
Thursday afternoon on one count of felony murder of his hospital
On May 3, Dennis Wagner, 49, was found dead in his bed around 8 a.m. by
another patient -- not Gore -- who notified hospital staff.
Thursday's court hearing was the second scheduled arraignment for Gore
since his arrest on May 3. At a Tuesday arraignment, Gore refused to
leave his county jail cell, where he is being held without bail, to appear
Gore is scheduled to enter a plea on May 23.
At Thursday's hearing, his family filled almost one row in the courtroom
gallery. Gore, dressed in jailhouse blues, smiled at them from behind the
glass partition that keeps inmates sealed off from the courtroom.
Although a murder charge has been filed by the district attorney's
office, prosecutors have not publicly said if Gore will be facing first
or second degree murder charges.
First degree, which requires premeditation and planning, carries a
25-years-to-life sentence, said assistant district attorney Scott LeStrange, who is prosecuting the case.
"Second-degree murder carries 15 years to life," he said.
Autopsy results revealed Wagner died from asphyxiation due to
strangulation, according to sheriff's Capt. Mike Loughran.
The homicide happened in the T-12 ward.
Although the patients and staff may wander from room to room, the ward is
In addition to Gore and Wagner, one other patient lived in the room. No
information was available about the other roommate, but he is not a
suspect in the homicide, according to investigators.
Lupe Rincon, hospital spokeswoman, said a patient found Wagner dead in
his bed around 8 a.m., and summoned help. She said the victim was seen
sleeping when staff conducted a routine bed check around 6:30 a.m.
Wagner and Gore had been roommates for some time but LeStrange
said he is unaware of any previous confrontations involving the pair.
According to a police report, hospital staff told deputies that Gore had
cuts on his knuckles and blood on his hands and clothes on the day of the
Both Gore and Wagner were admitted to the hospital on a ruling of
innocent by reason of insanity.
Gore has been a Napa
State patient since January 2000 and Wagner since December 1998.
As of Thursday, coroner's investigators had not been able to locate
Wagner's next of kin, Loughran said.
Marsha Dorgan can be reached at 256-2214 or email@example.com