The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Coroner: Nurse at CA mental hospital was strangled

Seal of Napa County, California
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There is something really wrong with this picture.  I don’t believe that this nurse woke up and thought, “I’ll go to work today and be killed.”  There is not an excuse, not mental illness or any other excuse, for this scenario.  As a psychiatric nurse of over 20 years, I have been attacked, beaten, had teeth kicked out, was almost strangled and have numerous other strain/use muscle and tendon injuries.  I know that I chose to be a psychiatric nurse; I also know that for every time I have been attacked or injured, I have helped dozens of others to reclaim their lives and to make sense of their illness.

I have had a staff member killed on my shift and I know exactly how the rest of this facility’s staff are feeling.  I hope that the perpetrator of this crime was removed from the facility and they are not now being forced to provide care to this individual, as was the case at my hospital.  My heart goes out to the victim’s family, the victim’s friends, and all the staff at this hospital.  I hope they are able to grieve and move on while showing respect and remembering their lost friend.

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NAPA, Calif. (AP) — An autopsy has found that a psychiatric nurse at a California mental hospital was strangled.

Authorities suspect 54-year-old Donna Gross was killed Saturday by a mentally ill patient in the courtyard at Napa State Hospital.

The Napa County coroner’s office said Tuesday that Gross died of asphyxiation.

Jess Willard Massey was arrested Sunday for investigation of murder and robbery and is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday.

Sheriff’s Capt. Tracey Stuart says investigators found Gross’ watch, two necklaces and a pair of earrings in the room of the 37-year-old Massey.

Stuart says a pack of gum Gross had bought during her dinner break was found in a trash in Massey’s ward.

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November 16, 2010 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , ,

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