Man who escaped from state hospital indicted on 5 counts

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HONOLULU (AP) — The man who escaped the Hawaii State Hospital — where he was committed after being found not guilty by reason of insanity of a woman’s 1979 killing — and flew to California has been indicted.

State Attorney General Russell Suzuki said Thursday that Randall Saito has been indicted on one count of second-degree escape and four counts of identity first-degree theft.

The escape charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The identity theft charges carry a maximum 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Saito was already pending trial for a previous charge of second-degree escape after leaving the state hospital in November 2017.

Authorities have said he took a taxi from the hospital to a charter plane at the airport, flew to Maui and then got on another plane to San Jose, California, while using another person’s identity.

Saito had been confined to the Kaneohe hospital since he was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity in the 1979 killing of Sandra Yamashiro.

After his arrest, he told reporters that he’d never been mentally ill and only claimed he was insane to avoid jail time, Hawaii News Now reported.

The escape prompted several ongoing investigations.