While many 19-year-olds are wrapping up their college studies and preparing to return home for the summer, a Marin County teen is living under the same roof with notorious killers, sex offenders and other hardened criminals.
Max Wade — the San Rafael teen sentenced to a maximum prison term for shooting at a 17-year-old girl and her boyfriend and for the daring theft of celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s exotic sports car — has been transferred to Corcoran State Prison, a maximum security prison in remote Kings County.
In the first few months of a sentence of life plus 21 years, Wade was temporarily housed in San Quentin State Prison after being convicted in October and sentenced in January on attempted murder, auto theft and other charges.
Lt. Anthony Baer, a spokesman for Corcoran, says Wade is being held with the “general population,” meaning he can go out in the prison yard and can also use a “day room,” where inmates can gather and talk.
Baer told SFBay:
“He does mingle with the other inmates.”
Baer wasn’t sure if Wade was currently sharing a cell with another inmate, but it was expected he would be assigned a cellmate.
Now a few months from his 20th birthday, Wade was barely old enough to legally drive when he pulled off a daring heist of Fieri’s $200,000 Lamborghini by rappelling down from the roof of a San Francisco car dealership and driving off with the car.
Though surveillance video captured images of a disguised burglar clambering down a rope and onto the dealership floor, Wade wasn’t implicated in the crime until police investigating the attempted shooting of two Marin County teens found the stolen Lamborghini in a storage facility rented by Wade.
Besides being convicted of auto theft, Wade was also found guilty of attempted murder for opening fire on the 17-year-old girl and her 19-year-old girlfriend as they drove on a Marin County roadway.
Neither teen was hurt, but prosecutors said during the trial Wade shot at the couple because he was attracted to the girl and considered the man a romantic rival.
During Wade’s sentencing, Judge Kelly Viera Simmons said:
“It’s a shocking case, and I’m sorry to be the judge who sentences such a young person to such a long sentence.”
At his new home in Corcoran, Wade is behind the same fences that contain infamous killers Charles Manson and Juan Corona, as well as former Antioch resident and convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido.
Manson — being held in solitary confinement — was convicted in 1971 in the murders of actress Sharon Tate and several others, while Corona is serving multiple life sentences for the murders of 25 farm workers in 1971.
Garrido is in the first few years of a 400-year sentence for kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive in his backyard for years.
Despite Wade’s life sentence, plus the additional years, he will still be eligible for parole at some time in the future.
But it’s expected he will be nearly 40 years old before before he can apply to be released from prison.
John Marshall is an SFBay editor and producer and writer for San Francisco’s KGO Radio. Follow him on Twitter@breakingnewsman.