MANTECA (CBS13) — Parents are on edge as a man who killed his own mother will soon call Manteca home after a judge ruled he's no longer a danger to the community
Ronald Toppila will be transferred from a state medical hospital to a transitional facility, just blocks from a high school.
He's been under lock and key and 24-hour supervision, treated for a rare mental illness that doctors say led to the brutal death of his mother.
Toppila, now 73, was found not guilty by reason of insanity of his mother's 2004 murder. Doctors testified that her brutal death after being reported slashed more than 50 times with a box cutter was the result of a psychotic break leading Toppila to believe his mom was inhabited by an outside force.
Since then, he's been housed at Napa State Hospital, but a Sacramento judge's ruling is paving the way for his transfer to the Northstar Program facility in Manteca, near a high school and dozens of families.
"Adding that to our neighborhood, which is a good neighborhood, it does put a scare on a parents like me," said Jacob Martinez.
The judge wrote in his ruling that the release was "warranted by the clinical record."
"This court finds that Ronald Toppila is no longer a danger to the health and safety of others, including himself, while under supervision and treatment in the community and will benefit from that status, so long as he remains medication compliant."
But the judge warns that if Toppila stops taking his medication that his psychosis and propensity for violence could return.
The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office opposed the decision, saying the security and supervision would allow him to leave the premises at any time.
Toppila's lawyer says the judge got it right, and that his client can be safely treated in Manteca, where he'll have to adhere to the rules, or be sent back to the hospital.
With good behavior, Toppila could be sent to a less-restrictive group home in Sacramento.
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