Napa State patient gets two years for attack
Judge Kroyer to let prison
authorities decide if Boddie goes to a mental hospital
Thursday, July 7, 2005
By MARSHA DORGAN
Register Staff Writer
A Napa State Hospital patient convicted of severely beating another
patient was sentenced to two years in state prison Wednesday.
At her sentencing, Precious Lashounda Boddie, 25, asked Napa County Superior Court Judge
Stephen Kroyer to place her on probation and
let her stay at the state hospital until her conservator could find
another locked-down facility to house her.
Kroyer denied probation, stating he belived that she would no
br able to follow the terms of probation because
of her mental state.
"Dangerous people belong in prison. Mentally ill people deserve
treatment. Those with both belong in a state hospital," Kroyer said.
But since Boddie did not enter a plea of not
guilty by reason of insanity, Kroyer could not
sentence her to a state mental hospital.
Once Boddie arrives at state prison, she will
be given a mental health evaluation. At that time prison staff can
recommend she be relocated a state mental hospital.
Kroyer said he believed Boddie
would not be in prison for more than a few days before she will be headed
to Patton State
Mental Hospital east of Los Angeles.
Boddie, along with fellow Napa State
patient Shaniqua Anderson, 19, was originally
charged with attempted murder. Last month Boddie
entered a no contest plea to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon,
causing great bodily harm.
At the sentencing, Napa County Deputy District Attorney Fred Gutierrez
said the female victim suffered black eyes, a swollen face and was
bleeding from the nose and mouth.
"She suffered a severe beating, which will have long-lasting affect
on her," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez described the attack, saying Boddie
was kicking and punching the victim in the face. "She choked her.
Witnesses said the victim was turning blue," he said.
He said although Boddie had a long history of
mental illness, she did not plead insanity. "She understands what
she did. She knows the difference between right and wrong," he said.
"The purpose of prison is punishment and to protect society. If she
gets probation, she will be released right back to where she was and
would have access to the victim."
Napa County Deputy Public Defender Jess Raphael argued that the victim
started the melee. He said the victim kicked his called his client, who
is African-American, and called her a racial epithet.
Raphael focused most of his arguments on Boddie's
mental illness, saying she would not gt proper
treatment in prison.
He said Boddie had been in and out of mental
institutions since she was 12. She was sent to Napa
two years ago by a San Francisco
court order. At that time she was a patient at San Francisco General Hospital.
"Napa State knew she was dangerous to
others and to herself. They also knew the relationship between (the
victim) and Ms. Boddie, yet they put them on
the same floor," Raphael said.
Raphael accused state hospital staff of "trying to do everything
they can to keep her out of their hospital, and the district attorney's
office is acting as their agent. Why is Napa State
of handling Ms. Boddie?"
Raphael said if the assault had happened on the streets, it never would
have resulted in an attempted murder charge.
"She didn't choose to be the way she is. What she had done reflects
her mental illness. You don't send people to prison because they are
mentally ill," he said.
Gutierrez accused Raphael of using Boddie's
mental illness as "the reason this happened."
"I never said she should go to prison because Napa State
can't handle her." he said. "She earned a prison sentence. The
night of the beating, six nurses were hiding behind locked doors because
she was vicious."
Boddie admitted to Judge Kroyer
that "what I did was wrong. But she called me (a racial epithet).
She walked over to me and kicked me and told me stop snoring. She hit me
first. I'm not a bad person. If I am so dangerous why did they put me
with other clients?"
hearing last month, the court ordered she undergo a psychiatric
evaluation to determine if she was mentally capable to participate in her
own defense. On June 29, the court ruled she was competent. She also has
pleaded no contest to one count of assault with a deadly weapon, causing
great bodily harm. She is facing a maximum two-year prison sentence.