Appendix 1: Carl Wade Criminal History

NOTE: The California prison medical authorities did not know this history. It is provided here as a service to readers of the case study.

Witnesses testified that on June 6, 1986, at his home in Mendocino State Forest near Upper Lake, CA, Carl Wade--a woodcutter--shot to death John Karns, with whom he had been drinking heavily at a nearby bar. After murdering Karns and burying his body, which was discovered only 13 days later, Wade fled to Colorado. There, on November 9, 1987, he shot in the face another drinking buddy, William Wiler. Wiler suffered a broken jaw, crushed vertebrae, and brain damage. Arrested for shooting Wiler, Wade was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment in Colorado. 

Additionally, on June 5, 1989, he was convicted in Lake County Superior Court, CA, of the first-degree murder of Karns and sentenced to 32 years to life (a sentence meant to be served consecutively with Colorado’s), then remanded by judge’s order to the state of Colorado.

On May 20, 2000, the Lake County Superior Court committed Wade into the custody of the  California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Two prisons and three years later, on July 31, 2003, he was brought to the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. He was declared totally medically disabled on April 4, 2007. According to the custody file prepared on September 7, 2011, to accompany his application for compassionate release, Wade’s “institutional adjustment is considered acceptable,” and he had “remained disciplinary [sic] free during his term.” Before his disabling, Wade had worked prison jobs as a clerk, receiving satisfactory to above average ratings from his supervisor.[28]

See Wade's original sentencing.

See Wade's referral for compassionate release.


[28] Information from Larson, “Judge Denies Compassionate Release,” and from CDCR memorandum from Timothy Baker, Chief of Investigations, to Board of Parole Hearings re. Carl Wade, E-18321, September 7, 2011.