Ex-Patient Faces Trial In Napa Psychiatric Nurse Murder

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Napa State Hospital Entrance (California Department of Mental Health website)

The entrance to Napa State Hospital. (California Department of Mental Health)

NAPA (CBS/AP) – A 37-year-old former patient at a state-run California mental hospital will stand trial in the strangling of a psychiatric nurse there last year.

Napa County Superior Court Judge Stephen Kroyer on Monday ordered Jess Massey to stand trial on charges he kidnapped, robbed and killed Donna Gross.

Napa County Sheriff’s Detective Todd Hancock testified that Massey admitted to the killing hours after the 54-year-old’s body was discovered on a patio at Napa State Hospital.

Hancock said Massey described grabbing Gross, demanding valuables, stuffing peacock feces into her mouth and taking about five minutes to strangle her.

Massey’s attorney, Joseph Solga, objected to the use of the alleged confession, saying his client had not been properly advised of his rights. The judge overruled the objection.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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