A Hawaii psychiatric hospital is considering using GPS ankle monitors after a patient who was committed after a killing escaped last year.
Hawaii State Hospital Administrator William May told lawmakers at a hearing Friday that hospital staffers have been testing the monitoring system used at a Honolulu jail.
He says officials have been discussing how it might help the hospital keep track of patients. They’re also examining similar technology used by the Colorado Mental Health Institute, where May used to be superintendent. He says each system has its benefits.
The review comes after Randall Saito walked out of the hospital on Nov. 12 and took a taxi to the airport. He was captured in California days later.
Saito was committed to the hospital after being acquitted by reason of insanity in a woman’s 1979 slaying.
Court documents say a man who escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital and flew to California was caught with two high-quality fake IDs, two cellphones and more than $6,000 in cash.
Prosecutors filed the documents Thursday in an attempt to keep Randall Saito in jail instead of returning him to the hospital he fled in November. He was committed to Hawaii State Hospital after being acquitted by reason of insanity in a woman’s 1979 killing.
The documents say his escape involved considerable planning and resources. Prosecutors say he shouldn’t be granted bail because it’s not known if he has a cache of other fake IDs or secret sources of money.
A detective’s affidavit says Saito opened a combination-locked gate to flee the hospital.
Officials are investigating how he was able to escape, including where he got the money and the combination.
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