A former Napa State Hospital patient will stand trial for murder in the death of another patient two years ago.
Following a one-day preliminary hearing, Napa County Superior Court Judge Michael Byrne on Friday bound Timothy Charles Gilman, 50, over for trial.
Gilman is accused of beating fellow Napa State patient Maxwell Martin Fuquay on Sept. 19, 2015, causing injuries that later led to his death at Queen of the Valley Medical Center.
Gilman was arrested just hours after Fuquay was found with a swollen face and transported to the hospital. He is suspected of entering Fuquay’s room, which was just a few doors down from his own, and repeatedly punching him in the head, according to court documents.
Fuquay sustained a fractured nose and a brain injury, according to police reports, and eventually died in the hospital.
During Friday’s hearing, Gilman’s defense attorney Kris Keeley, questioned this theory, noting that investigators did not collect fingerprints or sufficient DNA evidence from Fuquay’s room, which he shared with another patient.
Fuquay, Keeley said, hadn’t seen who attacked him since his head was covered. He had initially thought that it was his roommate who had attacked him until Napa State Hospital Police told him that it was Gilman, she said.
The lead investigator on the case, Officer Terence McCullough, testified that no additional DNA evidence or fingerprints were collected from the room because investigators were short resources. Fuquay’s blanket was processed as evidence, but neither his clothes nor Gilman’s clothes were.
“One blanket was seized from the room. Why were other blankets not seized from the room?” Keeley asked.
“I can’t say,” McCullough replied.
Fuquay’s roommate had alerted the nursing staff that Fuquay needed help after being beaten by Gilman, McCullough said. When officers went to question Gilman, he was asleep in his room, he said.
Gilman, who appeared to have a hand injury, told officers that he had not beaten Fuquay, McCullough said. When asked about his hand injuries, Gilman said that he had been “horse-playing” with another patient the night before. That patient told officers that no physical contact was made with Gilman, McCullough said.
Fuquay had earlier reported that Gilman had propositioned him for sex a few days prior to the attack, McCullough said. Because of this, Fuquay said that he was allowed to lock the door to his room for one night, according to testimony.
When questioned whether or not he looked into Fuquay’s complaint against Gilman, McCullough said that he hadn’t verified it against hospital records.
Dr. Joseph Cohen, the forensic pathologist who examined Fuquay’s body, told the court that Fuquay’s injuries “set in motion the sequence of events that ultimately led to his demise.”
Although Fuquay was a “ticking time bomb” with multiple medical conditions that played a role in his death, the blunt force trauma to his head hastened his death, Cohen testified.
If convicted, Gilman could face 25 years to life in prison. He’s also been charged with a special allegation related to a prior felony conviction, which could potentially double his sentence.
Gilman’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 4.