SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A San Jose man who is accused of stabbing his 6-year-old nephew and elderly grandmother to death apparently had an obsession with knives, was diagnosed with mental illness, and was a heavy drug user, court documents obtained by KRON4 show.
Nathan Addison, 27, made his first court appearance Monday and declined to enter a plea. Addison hid behind his defense attorney and stood just outside the courtroom, in a hallway used for escorting inmates. The victims’ family members shook their heads in frustration over Addison choosing to remain just out of eyesight from the courtroom gallery. Addison nervously peeked around the corner periodically.
Addison is charged with murdering his nephew, 6-year-old Jordan Cam Walker, and his grandmother, 71-year-old Delphina Turner, inside Turner’s apartment on August 3.
San Jose police said Addison destroyed evidence, including his grandmother’s cellphone, and cleaned up blood from the crime scene before he fled on foot.
The victims’ bodies were found the following morning, on August 4, by family members. The first person who told police that Addison was a likely culprit was his own mother, according to police. “She provided a brief statement to patrol officers and stated that her son may be responsible,” San Jose Police Sgt. Juan Vallejo wrote.
Investigators have not released a motive behind the shocking slayings.
Over the past three years, Addison was charged with a flurry of felonies for burglary, drug possession, attempted arson, theft, threats, and possession of a knife. He was arrested by the Campbell Police Department, San Jose Police Department, and Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. During every arrest, Addison was armed with large knives, court records show.
Addison cycled between living on the streets, getting arrested for new crimes, going to jail, and being sent to treatment programs out of custody.
All of the criminal cases were suspended by judges who allowed Addison to be diverted into mental health treatment programs, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said they tried, unsuccessfully, to keep Addison in the criminal court system and jail as recently as June 2023.
In the Mental Health Diversion program, Addison was classified as moderate-to-low risk for future violence, according to court records. A psychiatrist concluded “Nathan does not pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.”
Addison qualified for an outpatient treatment program and he was allowed to remain living in the community.
“From the public safety standpoint, it is beneficial for Mr. Addison to participate in mental health diversion, as opposed to incarceration, because he is not a highly criminogenic, violent individual, but a severely mentally ill one,” his former defense attorney, Ariel Toran, wrote.
Toran asserted that Addison was a young man who suffered from bipolar disorder, struggled with methamphetamine use disorder, and survived an abusive childhood. Toran wrote, “He is willing to comply with treatment and is a strong candidate for Mental Health Diversion.”
Addison was a resident at Muriel Wright Crisis Residential program in San Jose until he tried burning the building down in February 2022. Employees said Addison became enraged when they took his knives away, and he ignited his shirt on fire.
He was jailed for the first half of 2022 and was evaluated by Dr. Carolyn Murphy. Murphy noted that Addison’s bipolar disorder caused him to experience mania, depression, and impulsive behaviors.
Addison admitted to Dr. Murphy that he used methamphetamine daily during certain periods of his life. He recreationally used cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and alcohol, court records state.
Dr. Murphy wrote in a psychological evaluation, “Given his prior pattern of conduct … he does not appear to have a significant history of violence thus far. He is only at low-moderate to moderate risk at this time. If sober and stable, (he is) in the lower end of risk,” Murphy wrote on Sept. 1, 2022.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office filed five criminal cases against Addison for separate crimes. None of the cases went forward to trials because of the court’s diversion program.
Addison was released from Santa Clara County jail on June 29. He remained free until last week, when he was arrested on suspicion of two murders.
On Monday the judge ordered Addison to remain in custody with no bail. He is scheduled to return to court on September 29 to enter a plea.