Attorney for psychopathic killer believes doctors have found Randall Saito 'fit' to stand trial

Attorney for psychopathic killer believes doctors have found Randall Saito 'fit' to stand trial
Published: Apr. 24, 2018 at 3:12 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 24, 2018 at 6:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The attorney for Randall Saito believes a panel of three doctors has determined that his client is 'fit' to stand trial for an elaborate escape plan last November.

Then 59-years old, Saito, walked away from the State Hospital in Kaneohe, caught a cab to the airport, boarded a waiting charter flight to Maui, then took a commercial flight to California.  Triggering a nationwide manhunt.

After his capture and return to Honolulu, he told Hawaii News Now, he'd rather go to jail than be returned to the psychiatric facility.

Saito, was acquitted by reason of insanity for the gruesome 1979 murder of Sandra Yamashiro at Ala Moana Center.

Prosecutors said she was chosen at random, shot in the face with a pellet gun, then fatally stabbed.  They called his acquittal a "miscarriage of justice" describing Saito as a cold-blooded murderer.

He was diagnosed with sexual sadism and necrophilia, or sexual attraction to corpses.

He has tried multiple times to be released from the State Hospital.

Staff members, who have worked with Saito, tell Hawaii News Now, he's very manipulative, a master at getting people to do what he wants.

Documents from 1993 reveal that Saito had sexual relationships with at least 3 hospital staff members.

An FBI behavioral expert testified that those improper affairs, along with Saito's alcohol abuse, made him even more threatening.

Saito was able to obtain contraband including like cellphones and pornography while committed.

He likely had help and was planning the escape for a while.

The Attorney General's office has been trying to identify people both inside and outside the facility who may have assisted.

In addition to the waiting chartered plane, and plane reservations, Saito also had thousands of dollars in cash, and multiple, fake ID's.

Thursday, a court hearing will reveal the results of the fitness exam, but Michael Green is confident all three doctors found his client competent and a trial date will be set.

"It's going to be a challenge," Green says Saito's escape can't be denied, he admitted it during a jailhouse interview, and many of his movements were caught on video.

"The only thing the tape doesn't have is where he walked out of and him at the airports, I don't think he expects to win."

The escape charge carries a five-year maximum prison term.

The question is, after that will he be returned to the State Hospital or will he be set free especially after multiple doctors deemed him mentally fit for trial.

Green says Saito's 37 years of committal is more than many other killers have spent in jail for murder. Green will push for release.

A judge will ultimately decide if Saito is released from psychiatric custody and the fitness exam related to the escape may have no influence on the decision.

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