Mental fitness hearing set for man who fled Hawaii hospital

HONOLULU (AP) — A court hearing is scheduled on whether a man is mentally fit to proceed with trial for escaping from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital and flying to California.

Randall Saito was confined to the hospital after he was acquitted by reason of insanity of a woman’s 1979 killing. A judge ordered that he go before a panel of examiners to determine whether he can be criminally responsible for the escape.

He was captured in Stockton, California, in November, days after walking out of Hawaii State Hospital. He’s expected to attend Thursday’s hearing, where lawyers will be able to argue about the panel’s findings.

Defense attorney Michael Green says he expects that the panel will find Saito fit. Green says it’s likely his client will eventually admit to the escape charge.

Categories: California News