LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A man serving a state prison sentence for a 1986 Upper Lake murder has died just as he was due to be released on compassionate grounds.
Carl Hampton Wade, 66, died of natural causes at 3:20 a.m. Thursday, May 31, at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, according to Luis Patino, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Wade was sentenced to 16 years to life for the shooting death of John Karns.
Wade shot Karns in the chest, then came back to shoot him in the head. He buried Karns' body the next day, then fled to Colorado, where he shot and permanently disabled another man.
Last month, the First Appellate District Court of Appeals ordered that Wade be released to live out the remainder of his life with his sister in Chico, as Lake County News has reported.
The appellate court overturned Lake County Superior Court Judge Andrew Blum's ruling last November that Wade should remain in prison due to concerns about public safety.
Blum also had doubts about the medical evidence presented in the proposal for Wade's release, which included statements by doctors that he had less than six months to live.
The appellate court's unpublished May 17 decision had ordered Blum to release Wade.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff said the matter never made it to the local court calendar for a hearing because Blum reportedly signed Wade's release order last week.
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