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People v. Parker

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Second Division

December 2, 2014

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
WENONAH KAREN PARKER, Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from the Superior Court of San Bernardino County No. FVI1010342 Katrina West, Judge.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Laurel M. Nelson, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Kristine A. Gutierrez and Warren J. Williams, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.



In 2000, defendant and appellant Wenonah Karen Parker was found guilty, but not guilty by reason of insanity, of various crimes. (Pen. Code, § 1026.)[1] Defendant was committed to Patton State Hospital (Patton). In 2011, the trial court granted defendant outpatient status. (§ 1026.2.) The outpatient agencies refused to accept defendant due to her behavior and mental condition. As a result, defendant remained hospitalized at Patton, in the inpatient program. In 2012, the trial court revoked the order granting defendant outpatient status. (§ 1608.)

Defendant raises three issues on appeal. First, defendant contends the State Department of State Hospitals and the outpatient treatment agencies acted unlawfully by refusing to admit defendant. Second, defendant asserts the controlling statutes do not authorize revocation of outpatient status for a person who was not given the opportunity to participate in an outpatient

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program. Third, defendant contends collateral estoppel requires defendant’s outpatient status to remain in place because there were not material changes to defendant’s condition. In defendant's appellant's reply brief, she also raises an issue concerning substantial evidence. We affirm the judgment.


A. Background

In 1994, defendant had surgery to remove a cyst in her vaginal area. Defendant believes the surgeon intentionally disfigured her labia and cut her vaginal artery, which defendant believes is causing her to bleed internally, despite the artery being four inches from the surgery site and no incisions being made in her vaginal wall. Defendant also believes the doctor is a member of a cult that harms women.

On August 20, 1999, defendant entered the doctor’s office with a.22-caliber revolver and ordered the doctor to the floor. Defendant discharged two rounds into the ceiling and ordered the receptionist to assist with handcuffing the doctor. Defendant then waited for the media to arrive so she could “‘expose’” the doctor. Law enforcement arrived, and defendant engaged in a standoff for approximately 20 minutes.

Defendant was found guilty, but not guilty by reason of insanity, of (1) two counts of false imprisonment by violence (§ 236); (2) two counts of assault with a firearm (§ 245, subd. (a)(2)); (3) second degree commercial burglary (§ 459); (4) one count of obstructing or resisting an executive officer (§ 69); and (5) one count of willfully discharging a firearm (§ 246.3, subd. (a)).

Defendant was admitted into Patton, in an inpatient program, in December 2000. In April 2006, defendant was granted outpatient status, and released under the supervision of the San Bernardino/Riverside Conditional Release Program (CONREP). In April 2009, defendant began showing signs of “psychiatric decompensation, including paranoid and ruminating thoughts.” On April 24, defendant’s urine test reflected she had been drinking alcohol, which violated the terms and conditions of her release. An unannounced home visit revealed an open container of alcohol in defendant’s home and unopened containers of alcohol outside her apartment window.

Defendant missed a CONREP appointment in May 2009. Defendant called her therapist and said she went AWOL from the program in order to seek

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medical attention for the “‘botched’” vaginal surgery. Defendant traveled to Oregon “in search of a clinic to perform her desired CT-scan”—a vaginal arteriogram. While in Oregon, defendant hit or attempted to hit her ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend with a vehicle. Defendant was charged with recklessly endangering another person and was extradited back to California for absconding from CONREP. Defendant was again admitted to Patton, on an inpatient basis, on June 6, 2009.

B. 2011 Outpatient Order

On December 14, 2011, the trial court ordered defendant be immediately released to CONREP on outpatient status. The trial court found defendant “met her burden of showing that she does not pose a danger to the health and safety of others due to her mental defect/disease or disorder while under supervision and treatment in the community.” The trial court ordered CONREP to “provide the court with a report indicating which placement is the best suit[ed] for [defendant].”

C. Conrep Placement Report

CONREP submitted its report to the trial court on January 27, 2012. The report reflected defendant was evaluated at Patton, by a clinical therapist, on January 9. In the report, CONREP wrote that, per the court’s order, it would seek to place defendant “in a Statewide Transitional Regional Program (STRP), such as Southpoint, Northstar, or Gateways.” However, CONREP warned that “[d]ue to [defendant’s] continued symptomology, it is anticipated that it may be difficult to place [defendant] and this process may take several months.”

CONREP noted that it had “serious misgivings about [defendant’s] ability to be safely supervised in the community, ” due to defendant “exhibit[ing] active symptoms of her mental illness, including paranoia, delusions, and mood instability.” Defendant was difficult to supervise in Patton, displayed no insight into her mental illness, had poor judgment, and lacked a viable relapse prevention plan. Despite the misgivings, the therapist wrote, “However, given that ...

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