Killer who escaped from State Hospital fights extradition back t - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Killer who escaped from State Hospital fights extradition back to Hawaii

(Image: San Joaquin Sheriff's Office) (Image: San Joaquin Sheriff's Office)
STOCKTON, Calif. (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The killer who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital and fled to California before getting caught isn't returning to the state without a fight.

In court on Monday, Randall Saito said he wanted to contest his extradition back to the islands.

That hearing has been set for Dec. 5 in Stockton, Calif. 

Saito is being held without bail, and in court Monday had the chance to admit who he was and agree to come back. He didn't.

Saito escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital earlier this month, called a cab to pick him up at Kaneohe Community Park, flew to Maui on a chartered flight and caught a Hawaiian Airlines flight to San Jose, Calif.

He arrived in California two hours before the State Hospital informed police that he was missing — a fact that's prompted the state to launch an investigation and put a number of workers on unpaid leave.

Saito was acquitted by reason of insanity for the gruesome 1979 killing of 29-year-old Sandra Yamashiro at Ala Moana Center. She was a stranger to him.

He was committed to the State Hospital in 1981 after experts diagnosed him with necrophilia, or sexual attraction to corpses, and sexual sadism. And his repeated attempts to have unescorted leave from the hospital were rejected by the courts.

But in interviews after his arrest in California, Saito said he faked mental illness to get out of prison sentence and go to the State Hospital instead.

State Attorney General Doug Chin said the state is working with the San Joaquin County prosecutor's office to "get Mr. Saito back to Hawaii to face escape charges." When he returns, he'll be held as a pre-trial felon at OCCC.

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