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Posts tagged: Philip Paul

Wa Lege Day 57: Bill prompted by escape passes

OLYMPIA — Patients at state mental institutions who have been judged criminally insane will be limited in the reasons that they can leave for field trips or other reasons.

The House of Representatives gave final passage Monday to House Bill 2717, which is designed to prevent instances like the escape last September of accused murderer Phillip Paul during an Eastern State Hospital field trip to the Spokane County Fair.

The bill limits patients who have been found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity from trips away from the hospital that don’t involve medical treatment or a family emergency. It was sponsored by Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley and received near unanimous support at step of the process. It now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature.

Paul, who was found criminally insane for a 1987 murder of a 78-year-old Sunnyside woman, was among a group of about 30 patients on a field trip to the fair when he escaped on Sept. 17. He was captured three days later in Klickitat County.

WA Lege Day 53: 2 ‘Philip Paul’ bills pass

OLYMPIA — Two bills sparked by an Eastern State Hospital patient’s escape during a Spokane County Fair field trip last September moved easily through the Senate Thursday.

Philip Paul was part of an Eastern State group visiting the fair when he slipped away from the other patients and staff, and left the fairgrounds. Police were not notified for hours that Paul, who was at Eastern State after being found not guilty by reason of insanity of a murder charge,escaped and was loose in the community. He was captured three days later, near Yakima.

House Bill 2422, requires hospital staff to contact law enforcement after an escape, passed 47-0. and goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature. “When a convicted murderer escapes and no one takes responsibility, something is wrong,” Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said.

House Bill 2717, which limits the opportunities for criminally insane patients to leave state hospitals unless approved by a judge or for a family emergency, passed 48-0. It returns to the House because of minor amendments included in the Senate version.


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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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