Mantecan slain at care home

MANTECA -- One man is dead and another is in custody after a stabbing Monday afternoon at a halfway house for mental patients.

Police spokesman Rex Osborne identified the suspect as Raymond Lee, 63. Osborne said the 52-year-old victim's identity was being withheld until his family could be notified. The victim, a resident of the home, previously had a Ukiah address.

Chris Withrow, deputy chief executive officer for Concord-based Anka Behavioral Health Inc., acknowledged that his company operates the residential care facility that it calls North Star. He said the company would have no comment until the victim is identified and the police investigation is completed.

Neighbors on South Airport Way expressed concern for the safety of their families.

"It makes me really nervous," said Doug Crouch, who lives near the group home. "It's seriously disturbing because I work nights and leave my girlfriend and son home alone."

Crouch said he never has been sure what was going on at the group home, saying: "I won't let my son go around there. The guys walk to the (corner) liquor store all the time."

Jinny Miske lives next to the facility. A 3-foot fence separates the properties. She said when North Star was being built, her husband was told it was going to be a rehabilitation center.

She said the people who live at North Star never had caused trouble before. "They take their walks, and the friendly ones say hello."

Miske said she was a little concerned that violent people might be living next door, but "as long as I have my husband and dog, I'm OK."

Maria Morales moved to a duplex next to the halfway house last week. Shocked by the fatal stabbing, she said her family would be moving soon.

Police were called to the home at 401 S. Airport Way at 3:27 p.m. Monday after an employee reported a stabbing. Osborne said Lee was waiting for officers and was taken into custody without incident.

The victim had multiple stab wounds and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4 p.m., according to Osborne. It is the city's first homicide since Christmas, he said.

The facility can house as many as 14 people. There were six people living at the facility Monday.

Osborne said the facility first was approved by the county, but the area where it stands recently was incorporated into Manteca.

Osborne said police receive profiles of people who are placed in the facility. Occupant profiles are kept on the premises to assist patrol officers called to the scene. Osborne said police had a profile of Lee.

While Lee was a mental patient and not a prison inmate, he previously had been charged with assault on another person with a knife and a gun. Police reported that when Lee was committed to Napa State Hospital in 2004, the assault charges had been dropped.

Lee and the victim had been at the Manteca home for three months, Osborne said. There was no information on what preceded the attack.

Osborne said police had been summoned to North Star twice before, but each time had been a civil matter.

Bee staff writer Roger W. Hoskins can be reached at rhoskins@modbee.com or 578-2311.