A local company that's supposed to find a place for a killer to live in Sacramento if he's released from a state mental hospital has one month to come up with an assessment report on the issue or face a contempt of court citation.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge David W. Abbott from the bench ordered Harper Medical Group to prepare the report in the case of Ronald Benjamin Toppila, 72, who killed his mother nine years ago but was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Psychiatrists from Napa State Hospital, where Toppila is being housed, have testified in hearings this week and also five years ago that he is no longer insane and is amenable to placement in a group home in the community.
Harper Medical Group's report was supposed to be prepared by the time Toppila's conditional release hearing began Tuesday in front of Abbott, officials said.
The judge on Wednesday continued the hearing until June 17 and ordered Harper Medical Group to have the report ready by then or otherwise show cause why he shouldn't find the firm in contempt.
A woman who answered the phone Thursday at the medical group declined to comment.
Toppila in 2004 stabbed and slashed his mother with a box cutter and bludgeoned her to death in her South Land Park apartment.
A Sacramento jury determined that Toppila committed the killing but found him not guilty by reason of insanity.
The California Department of State Hospitals contracts with Harper Medical Group to operate its conditional release program in the Sacramento area.
In cases where judges agree to release patients on recommendations from the state, the Harper firm is responsible for finding the right housing placement and providing assorted services to the clients.
Deputy District Attorney Donell Slivka declined to comment on Abbott's order.
Toppila's lawyer, Robert Saria, said conditional release program officials, citing cost, generally don't want to prepare the placement report until a judge orders a patient released from a state hospital.
"I just wish they'd have the reports together and get it done," Saria said. "It's a slow process."
Call The Bee's Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.