September 19, 2009 in City

Key developments in Paul’s legal history


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Police are searching for Phillip A. Paul, 47, who escaped from Eastern State Hospital staff during an outing at the Spokane County Interstate Fair on Thursday. Paul, a schizoprenic with a violent history, is 5-foot-8 and 220 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, and has a goatee. He was wearing a red windbreaker over a blue T-shirt and faded blue jeans. Paul is believed to be headed to Sunnyside, Wash. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call 911 immediately.

On the Web: Read court documents about Phillip A. Paul’s commitment to Eastern State Hospital and his conditional release, as well as previous coverage at tags/phillip-arnold-paul.

Key developments in Phillip A. Paul’s legal history:

APRIL 1987: The gasoline-soaked body of Ruth Mottley, 78, is found in a shallow grave near her Lower Yakima Valley home, her throat slit and neck broken. Phillip Arnold Paul, who lived nearby, told deputies “voices” in his head instructed him to “kill the witch on Emerald Road.”

JULY 1987: A paranoid schizophrenic, Paul is found not guilty by reason of insanity in Mottley’s murder and ordered held indefinitely at a “state mental institution for the criminally insane.”

AUGUST 1990: Paul refuses his medication and later escapes from Eastern State Hospital. He’s arrested near Fishtrap and while being booked into the Spokane County Jail, overpowers a deputy, shattering the law enforcement officer’s shoulder. A jury later orders the state to pay the deputy more than $100,000.

EARLY 1992: Paul enrolls at Spokane Falls Community College and is allowed to leave Eastern State Hospital to attend classes. During the next two years he also works part time at the Spokane Goodwill store and at an antique furniture shop downtown, sometimes for 30 hours a week.

OCTOBER 1994: Paul seeks release from his court-ordered commitment at Eastern State Hospital. A Yakima judge refuses.

1998: Paul seeks approval to return home to live with his parents in the Yakima Valley and is allowed to spend two weeks at a time at the family home, then return to Eastern State Hospital to receive his medications before doing another two-week transition.

JUNE 2000: Paul is approved for a full-time return to his family home in Yakima Valley, but within a few months his counselors begin expressing concerns over his progress.

OCTOBER 2000: Paul is ordered back to Eastern State Hospital after treatment providers notice threatening and delusional behavior. Among other things, Paul tells counselors of someone he thinks is a “witch.”

OCTOBER 2005: After five years back at Eastern State Hospital, Paul is approved for a conditional release to The Carlyle, an assisted living facility in downtown Spokane. He begins dating a woman who becomes pregnant and has a baby boy in 2006.

FEBRUARY 2006: Paul is ordered back to Eastern State Hospital after refusing to take his medications.

OCTOBER 2007: Paul is approved again for release to The Carlyle, but counselors report he begins exhibiting increasingly defiant behavior.

JANUARY 2009: Paul is ordered back to Eastern State Hospital after refusing to take his medication and being spotted in a pawnshop that sells firearms and other weapons, which is prohibited under terms of his release.

SEPT. 17: During a field trip to the Spokane County Interstate Fair with other “criminally insane” patients, Paul escapes. A manhunt remains under way.

SOURCE: Yakima County Superior Court documents

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