Limited release proposed for Nichols Hills doctor who killed his son

Dr. Stephen Paul Wolf, 52, was admitted June 8 to the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity of first-degree murder and assault.
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Modified: July 23, 2011 at 11:40 pm •  Published: July 23, 2011

A top psychologist at a state mental hospital has recommended conditional release for the Nichols Hills physician who fatally stabbed his 9-year-old son.

Dr. Stephen Paul Wolf, 52, was admitted June 8 to the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity of first-degree murder and assault.

The judge who acquitted Wolf has the final say-so on whether he can be released. A hearing is set for Aug. 9.

Oklahoma County District Judge Don Deason is not expected to approve Wolf's release. Still, prosecutors are furious with the recommendation by Samina R. Christopher, the director of forensic psychology at the Oklahoma Forensic Center.

“Dr. Wolf was, is and continues to be an extreme danger to the public and should never be released from a secure environment,” District Attorney David Prater said.

Prater said evidence shows Wolf had a history before his son's death of not taking all the medication prescribed for his longtime mental illness. “Had he been med-compliant, he probably wouldn't have killed Tommy,” Prater said.

The prosecutor said Wolf cannot be relied upon to take his required medication if released. “Nor would it be justice,” Prater said.

Defense attorney Mack Martin declined to comment.

Wolf stabbed his son at their $500,000 home shortly before 4 a.m. Nov. 16, 2009. He repeatedly told the Nichols Hills police officer who broke up the attack, “He's got the devil in him,” according to a police affidavit.

His wife, Mary Wolf, suffered cuts to her hands and face.

Prosecutors did not oppose his acquittal on the insanity ground. The prosecution's own expert concluded Wolf “did not know that his conduct was wrong and he did not understand the nature and consequences of his act.”

Recommendation

In making the recommendation for his release, the state psychologist, Christopher, told the judge that Dr. Wolf plans to avoid future psychological difficulties “by remaining medication and treatment compliant, under the supervision and care of a physician.”

“Dr. Wolf objectively responds favorably to medication and currently acknowledges his mental illness. Therefore, Dr. Wolf is considered not presently dangerous due to mental illness but in need of continued supervision due to a history of treatment noncompliance. Therefore, conditional release is recommended,” Christopher wrote.



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