Murder Victim Remembered At Napa State Hospital

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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)

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Tim Ryan graduated from CSU Chico with a Journalism degree and work...
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NAPA (KCBS) – One year after her murder at the hands of a 37-year-old psychotic patient, Donna Gross was honored Sunday on the grounds of Napa State Hospital – where she worked and where she died.

The somber anniversary was also an opportunity for current hospital employees to call for improvements in what they say are safety conditions that are even worse than a year ago.

Gross’ daughter Anna Bock recalled that her mom was scared by the conditions before her death.

“She loved what she did. And she dedicated her life to working for the mentally ill,” Bock said.

“I think that’s the terrifying reality,” Corinne Weaver, a social worker at the hospital, said it wasn’t a question of if another employee would be assaulted, but when.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Have conditions improved in the year since Gross was robbed and strangled by mentally ill patient Jess Willard Massey?

“Same place. Just as dangerous, perhaps a little bit more,” responded nurse practitioner Luz Hernandez.

Assemblyman Mike Allen, D-Santa Rosa, agreed that safety legislation was essential.

“It’s kind of like trying to roll the stone up the hill and it keeps on falling back,” he described the politics involved. “It’s more political will than it is money, in my opinion.”

Massey is currently serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for Gross’ murder.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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