Mt. Helix residents await judge ruling for sexually violent predator placement
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A judge Monday rejected placing a sexually violent predator poised for conditional release at a home in the Mount Helix neighborhood, saying the residence was located in a densely populated neighborhood and in close proximity to children.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert Harutunian III said the home at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive, which was proposed by state hospital officials to house 64-year-old Merle Wade Wakefield, was “not what the legislature intended for SVP placements.”
The home rejected by the judge is the same residence that the Department of State Hospitals proposed for the placement of 78-year-old sexually violent predator Douglas Badger.
Dozens of Mount Helix residents and local elected officials urged a judge last month to reject the placement on various grounds, including concerns over how stringently Badger would be monitored and the neighborhood having a much higher population density than the remote, sparsely populated locations where SVPs are typically housed.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Theodore Weathers, who is overseeing the case of Badger’s placement, has not yet issued a ruling.