hawaiian psychiatric patient is set for trial after his escape.

6 month ago

Randall Saito, the man who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital in November 2017, made another court appearance Thursday morning.

A man who spent decades in a Hawaii psychiatric hospital for killing a woman wants to go to trial on escape and identity theft charges after authorities said he fled the facility and flew to California before being captured, his defense attorney said Thursday.

Saito was sometimes driven to a facility near the hospital called the Koolau Clubhouse, where patients can be acclimated to the outside world.

his attorney, Michael Green believes that’s where a third party got Saito the items needed to make his elaborate getaway. He doesn’t believe it was a staffer or patient.

“I think it was an individual who knew someone on the inside who was there with Randall. Somebody set it up for him and when he was there somebody came over, knew what he looked like or introduced themselves," he said.

Saito was sent to Hawaii hospital in 1981 after he was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity in the 1979 killing of Sandra Yamashiro.

While jailed in California, Saito gave various interviews with reporters, including the AP. He said he escaped to show that he should be free. "I was just trying to get as much time as possible under my belt to prove my point that I could be in the community without supervision and not be truculent or violent or stupid," Saito said at the time.

After an administrative investigation, the state Attorney General said hospital employees were not directly responsible for the escape.

His criminal trial is expected to start in March and Green says Saito has said he’d rather die in prison than go back to the State Hospital.