State Hospital escapee awaiting extradition back to Hawaii

State Hospital escapee awaiting extradition back to Hawaii

STOCKTON, Calif. (HawaiiNewsNow) - The psychopathic killer who escaped from Hawaii State Hospital could be staying in California for longer than expected.

On Friday, a San Joaquin County judge set a new status hearing for Randall Saito on Jan. 29.

The state is working with U.S. Marshals to return him to the islands on a non-commercial flight.

Those flights aren't frequent, the state Attorney General's Office said, which is why Saito may be staying in California for several more weeks.

Saito, who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital, had attempted to prevent his extradition by refusing to confirm his identity to the court.

He 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.

After walking away from the hospital, Saito says he called a cab to pick him up at Kaneohe Community Park, flew to Maui on a charter 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 prompted the state to launch an investigation and put a number of workers on unpaid leave.

In interviews after his arrest in California, Saito admitted to killing Yamashiro and said he faked mental illness to get out of prison sentence.

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