Man Mandated to Alcoholics Anonymous When a Minor- Murders His Grandfather

When Kenneth Wilkinson, 22 was a minor he was mandated to Alcoholics Anonymous for 60 days. With the court not allowing him to drive until he was 21 also put pressure on the youth. How do you get to 60 AA Meetings when you can’t drive?

For reasons unknown, this man dragged his 84 year old grandfather who had Alzheimer’s, behind his truck for 6 miles to his death. One can’t help but feel that maybe sending a minor to AA meetings was NOT what this boy needed. He did not go to all of the AA meetings. Most minors do not feel comfortable with the message of powerlessness, or the fact that most participants are much older. Yet some courts are sending minors to AA and NA meetings, even though they have no meetings specifically for them.

Willits man charged with murder appears in court
By TIFFANY REVELLE The Daily Journal
Updated: 03/21/2012 02:11:59 PM PDT

Kenneth Wilkinson, 22, was in Mendocino County Superior Court today to be arraigned on a murder charge and a special allegation that he tortured his grandfather, Richard Mel Wilkinson, 84. Reliable sources said Tuesday that the younger Wilkinson allegedly killed his grandfather by dragging him behind a truck for nearly six miles Saturday night while left to care for him for a few hours, possibly in a drug-induced psychosis. “He’s not a violent person,” Kenneth Wilkinson’s mother, Kris Pearce, said outside the courtroom Wednesday while waiting for the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department to transport her son from county jail for his court appearance. “This is completely out of character for him.” Public Defender Linda Thompson took the case and said she needed a week to prepare for the young man’s arraignment, which was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 29 in courtroom A. He remains at the jail under a no-bail hold in the meantime.

Pearce said her son had never been diagnosed with a mental illness but had struggled emotionally throughout his life, having been picked on at school as the “skinny kid.” As an adult, he had a drug and alcohol problem, but said his drinking wasn’t heavy, according to Pearce.

Kenneth had been in court in 2008 for an allegation that he had possessed alcohol as a minor, and had been put on a deferred judgment plan. The arrangement meant the charge would be dropped on the condition that he attend 60 days of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings

in the year’s length of the plan, but according to the Mendocino County Superior Court, he didn’t comply. Pearce said that sent him into a “vicious cycle,” where he could not get a driver’s license until he was 21, making it hard for him to get a job and take care of his court obligations.

5 thoughts on “Man Mandated to Alcoholics Anonymous When a Minor- Murders His Grandfather

  1. Wilkinson Murder Case Insanity Plea In Question
    Updated: 06/02/2013 12:00:14 AM PDT

    Ukiah Daily Journal

    The insanity plea for a Willits man accused of torturing and killing his 84-year-old grandfather may change, depending on whether a second doctor appointed to evaluate the young defendant can find underlying mental illness, his defense attorney indicated at a Wednesday appearance in Mendocino County Superior Court.

    Kenneth Wilkinson, 23, could face life in prison without parole if he is convicted of killing his grandfather, Richard Mel Wilkinson, and a special circumstance that he tortured the elder Wilkinson by dragging him behind a pickup truck for nearly six miles on the night of March 17, 2012, according to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

    The court on Wednesday scheduled a September trial for Wilkinson, and estimated it will take 10 court days, or about two weeks. He is due in court July 12 for a status conference.

    Public Defender Linda Thompson, who represents Wilkinson, in March changed his not-guilty plea to one of not guilty by reason of insanity (commonly called an NGI plea). In a case where an NGI plea is entered, the court can appoint two experts, and possibly a third, to evaluate the defendant’s mental health at the time of the crime and present the findings in court.

    Still waiting for her medical expert’s report, Thompson said Wednesday that a report from Dr. Donald Apostle, who was appointed for the prosecution, says the defendant was under a “methamphetamine-induced psychosis.”

    “There’s a question as to whether or not he was voluntarily intoxicated, coupled with the mental health diagnosis, or was it just a mental health diagnosis?” Thompson said.

    She explained that in some cases, methamphetamine can aggravate a person’s existing mental illness, while for others, prolonged use can cause the mental illness.

    “There’s no track record to determine that,” she said, explaining that there was no documentation of the younger Wilkinson having a mental illness before the incident.

    Dr. Paul Good, who was appointed for the defense, hoped to meet with Wilkinson’s family in preparing his report, rather than relying only on police reports, Thompson said previously.

    She told the court Wednesday that Good had not yet met with her client, but planned to do so before the week was out and to submit his report to the court by the second or third week of June.

    The trial in an NGI case usually happens in two parts: a guilt phase where the jury decides the defendant’s guilt or innocence, and a sanity phase where the same jury decides whether the defendant was legally insane when he or she committed the crime.

    Insanity is a legal term under state law meaning that because of a mental defect or disorder, the defendant didn’t understand the nature or quality of the act, or could not distinguish between right and wrong.

    Thompson’s deputy, Farris Purviance III, who formerly represented Wilkinson, said previously that the question of how and when the elder Wilkinson died would be an issue in court.

    Early results from a March autopsy show that the 84-year-old man died of “multiple blunt force trauma,” according to the Mendocino County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office.
    Thompson said she also planned to introduce testimony at trial from a medical expert who “does not believe there is significant medical evidence to believe the decedent was alive at the time of the spatial travel — we’ll call it that.” The expert, she said, disagrees with the county’s medical examiner.

    Authorities were called just after 11 p.m. the night of the incident to an East Hill Road home after family members reported that some kind of assault had taken place and that the elder Wilkinson was missing.

    Deputies searched the area and found his body apparently dumped down a steep, brushy hillside off of the winding, dirt-and-rock Mariposa Creek Road.

    Tiffany Revelle can be reached at, on Twitter @TiffanyRevelle or at 468-3523

  2. you cannot use the excuse that you have No vehicle to do things that are supposed to be important. Is there something wrong with your legs I don’t think so Kenny was a very young man at this time and there is absoulutly NO reason that he couldn’t use them two legs to walk to those meetings its call laziness that is it.
    You have friends and family who would have gladly taken you if you would have asked if you new that you wanted to get your license then nothing would have stopped you… My father would hitch hike every month for 15 miles just to turn in paperwork and he was in his 40’s. Kenny is going to use whatever excuse he can to get out of what he has done if you don’t want to be bad you wont there are a lot of people who choose not to do the wrong thing and live life to the fullest. A man has died earlier than he should have and now the man that has done it is going to say what ever he wants to take the blame off of him he deserves to go to prison and still he is getting of easy because he gets to wake up everyday and have three hot meals a place to lay his head everynight and have people to talk to. My grandfather doesn’t his family is morning him and they don’t get to even know why Kenny even did this. Growing up Kenny was a good person who fell in with the wrong crowd but that is not an excuse to kill someone you choose to do that all on your own…take responsiblity for your own actions,

  3. I think that if a person is using the excuse that they can’t make it to a program because of not having a vehilce is REDICULOUS

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