Mentally challenged male facing manslaughter charge had violent past
The legal guardian of a mentally challenged male who is now facing manslaughter charges says he warned mental health officials about the man's violent tendencies.
On Feb. 13th of this year, 41-year-old mental health worker Valerie Diane Wolski was found dead inside a Camrose residence.
Originally, her death was believed to be suspicious. But police later confirmed her death to be a homicide.
The suspect, Terrence Wade Saddleback, 25, was identified as being the lone client who lived in the residence and was under the victim's care.
He has been charged with one count of manslaughter. The man's legal guardian describes Saddleback as a loving teddy bear with violent tendencies.
"It was like waiting for a bomb to go off," said Graham Jones.
Jones says he tried to warn the Canadian Mental Health Association, after witnessing several aggressive attacks by Saddleback.
"If he's working with a female he'd wait for opportune moment and grab her by the hair from behind and he's a big boy," said Jones.
Months before Wolski's death, the Wetaskiwin and District Association for Community Services terminated services for Saddleback.
The executive director wrote: "Terrance's high-risk behaviour (is) psychotic in nature, is a real threat to himself, staff, clients and community."
An incident was also described where it took "five RCMP officers, pepper spray and handcuffs to diffuse the situation."
A psychiatric assessment after Wolski's death indicates Saddleback had been admitted into Alberta Hospital in Ponoka five times before. During questioning, Saddleback was heard to say: "don't talk about voices."
Following the death, Jones sent a letter to Minister Mary Anne Jablonski stating: "I believe that the death of Valerie Diane Wolski could have been prevented if certain policies and procedures were adhered to. Both individuals in this situation were set up for failure."
"We will wait for the report to come out to ensure that we are meeting all the requirements for the safety and security of our staff and residents, which is very paramount," said Minister of Seniors and Community Supports Mary Anne Jablonski.
Jones says he considers Saddleback as family, and adds the system failed not once, but twice.
"It's criminal that they let this happen."
The Canadian Mental Health Association says it won't comment until Occupational Health and Safety completes its investigation.
Saddleback remains in Alberta Hospital. His case will be reviewed every two years. The Crown says Saddleback is still technically charged with manslaughter, but because of his limited mental capacity, which is not likely to improve, he will likely never stand trial.
With files from Serena Mah