Former Nursing Home Resident Sentenced for Starting Fires

The nursing home roommate from hell. A former San Diego nursing home resident was sentenced to 19 years in jail yesterday for setting a series of fires at two local nursing homes while she was a resident. According to an investigation, Mary Wilson tried to kill her nursing home roommate by setting her bed on fire while she slept. In another incident, Wilson threatened a resident with a knife.

The first incident occurred in January of 2009, when Wilson was a resident of the San Diego skilled nursing facility El Dorado Care Center in El Cajon. She was placed in a room with two roommates, both of whom were on oxygen and confined to their beds. In the middle of the night, Wilson got out of her bed and set the mattress on fire of one of her roommates. The fire alarm was triggered, and caregivers were able to extinguish the flame before any injuries occurred.

In May, Wilson was transferred to the assisted living center Golden Paradise Senior Living in National City. Shortly after her arrival, she set fire to trash cans and in the library. Luckily, there were no injuries.

Prior to yesterday’s sentencing, Wilson pled guilty to two counts of attempted murder, three counts of arson, and one count of assault with a deadly weapon. Attorney General Jerry Brown lauded the prosecution and sentencing.

“These fires were no accident,” Brown said. “This woman meant to kill or seriously injure dozens of disabled people. Residents of nursing homes are particularly vulnerable, so today’s sentence is an important victory in our fight against elder abuse in California communities.”


The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at the Walton Law Firm represent seniors and dependent adults throughout California who have been abused or neglected in the skilled nursing facility, residential care facility for the elderly, and assisted living setting. Call (760) 571-5500 for a free and confidential consultation.

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