Sexually violent predator to be placed in Jacumba

Courtesy Photo.

On March 25, a judge ordered the release of a sexually violent predator (SVP) to an Old Highway 80 house in Jacumba Hot Springs where a previous SVP had once lived.

The 4-page ruling says Alan Earl James, now 56, should be released from Coalinga State Hospital on or before April 25 under strict conditions by Liberty Healthcare, Inc., which monitors SVPs released by the state.

James has been incarcerated for 33 years. He finished his 28-year prison term which was imposed in 1986 and transferred to the hospital after he was declared an SVP by a judge.

James had molested his young cousins, two of whom urged the judge not to release him on March 22.

Hospital doctors unanimously recommended his release after finishing all the treatment and programs they offered, according to the ruling by San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert Harutunian III.

“Placement in a rural, less densely populated portion of the county is beneficial to the safety of the public,” wrote Harutunian. “The alternative, of placement in more densely populated areas, increases access to children, schools, seniors, areas where the public gathers, drug and alcohol availability, ease of transportation, etc.”

“Liberty reported that the decades of SVP placements have not resulted in a single hands-on violation by an SVP on conditional release (including prior placements at this same location),” wrote Harutunian.

The judge noted that Liberty inquired about placement to 219 property owners before deciding on a place where a previous SVP had lived.

“In addition, this placement carries the benefit of having a history of successful placements at this location,” added Harutunian.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob gave statistics to Harutunian on March 22 in which she said East County had received a disproportionate share of SVP placements. The judge answered Jacob and others by saying this:

“Liberty’s extensive search, and the reluctance of landlords to accept such placements, demonstrates that the criteria and the limited availability of choices–not prejudice against East County–is what has driven the location of placements.”

Man who stabbed sister in face found mentally incompetent

A Santee man who allegedly stabbed his sister in the face shortly before Thanksgiving has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Joseph Bodenstadt, 50, was sent to a state psychiatric facility for treatment and will be returned here after doctors determine he has regained his mental competency. Criminal proceedings remain suspended until then.

Bodenstadt was arrested Nov. 20 and later charged with attempted murder, mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon, and resisting arrest. A San Diego Superior Court judge reviewed psychiatric records before finding him mentally incompetent.

Kidnapper to be sentenced

A June 7 sentencing date has been set for Thomas Johnson, 39, who was convicted by a jury March 6 of kidnapping a La Mesa teen-ager during a 2016 carjacking.

The sentencing date was set by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Evan Kirvin after he reviewed Johnson’s four prior felony records from Illinois and determined they were valid.

This means Johnson could get 25 years to life in prison. Court records say one of the convictions is aggravated robbery in 1998 when Johnson was 19 years old in Cook County, Illinois.

Johnson kidnapped a 17-year-old boy who attended Grossmont High School at the time and held needles to his neck, saying they contained the AIDS virus. In an earlier hearing, Johnson’s lawyer said Johnson has AIDS.

The teen testified Johnson told him “I will stab you with these needles that have AIDS.” Johnson forced the victim to drive him around, but the teen punched him at one point and got out of the car.

Johnson took off and wrecked the 2000 Ford Ranger truck. He remains in jail without bail.

Sexually violent predator to be placed in Jacumba