Gum, $2 Lead to Suspect in Napa Hospital Killing - NBC Bay Area

Gum, $2 Lead to Suspect in Napa Hospital Killing



    Scared co-workers at Napa State Hospital talk about a homicide of one of their own during her dinner break. And the suspect is a patient. (Published Monday, Oct. 25, 2010)

    The Napa County sheriff's department says the Napa State Hospital worker who was killed during her dinner break Saturday was strangled to death.   Capt. Tracey Stuart said investigators say it appears the person who killed her did it with his hands.

    Donna Gross had worked as a psychiatric technician for the facility which houses the criminally insane for the past 14 years.

    Her body was found Saturday on hospital grounds.

    Investigators also released new details Tuesday as to what brought them to their prime suspect in the case, Jess Massey. 

    Investigators said they found Gross' watch, two dollars in cash, and jewelry in Massey's cell. They said they also found gum, which Gross had purchased right before she died at a nearby Target, in a trash can in his ward.

    Bay City News reported Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Brian Myers said Massey has a history of violence against women.  Massey has been a patient at the hospital since 2000 after being declared criminally insane after committing a crime in 1996.

    He was to be arraigned on new charges of homicide and robbery Tuesday afternoon.

    As for the victim, her friends and family are holding a candlelight vigil in her honor Tuesday night at the front entrance of the hospital in Napa.