Saito to stand trial for elaborate escape from psychiatric facility

Saito to stand trial for elaborate escape from psychiatric facility

Randall Saito, the psychopathic killer whose escape from the Hawaii State Hospital last year prompted a nationwide manhunt, has been ruled fit to stand trial.

The news did not come as a surprise to Saito's attorney, Michael Green, who told Hawaii News Now days ago that he expected the panel of three doctors to find Saito competent for legal proceedings.

"He's very articulate," Green said after Thursday's court hearing.

The trial in the case is set for June 25. Green says there is no doubt his client is guilty of escaping, and that he's also fairly certain that Saito will be sentenced to the maximum five years in jail for it.

But Green also made it known that if authorities want to find out who helped him escape, they should prepare to make a deal.

"If I was the Attorney General in this state, I'd do everything that I could to make sure that, there was some punishment, but to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again," Green said.

Last November, Saito walked out of the state hospital in Kaneohe and caught a cab to the airport, where a chartered plane was waiting to take him to Maui. From there, he caught a commercial flight to California – all before anyone at the facility even noticed he was missing.

Saito was commmitted to the state hospital following his involvement in a brutal murder in 1979 where he picked out a woman at random at Ala Moana Center and then stabbed her to death.

He was acquitted by reason of insanity. Doctors later diagnosed him with necrophilia and called him a sexual sadist.

He spent 37 years in the state hospital, which his lawyer says is more time than most murderers serve in prison. Green will argue to have his client released to his family after serving time for the escape.

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