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State Hospital escapee fights extradition to Hawaii


    Escaped hospital patient Randall Saito points to a guard as he sits in an inmate visitor’s booth at San Joaquin County Jail before a scheduled court hearing in French Camp, Calif., Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Saito, who escaped from a psychiatric hospital in Hawaii, was captured as the result of a tip from a taxi cab driver.

Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito today contested extradition to Hawaii.

In a court appearance, Saito’s attorney requested a hearing to contest the extradition, and Saito will appear again in a San Joaquin County courtroom on the matter on Dec. 5 at 8:30 a.m..

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that Saito, who is represented by a public defender, did not speak in his court appearance today.

The state of Hawaii is seeking to have the State Hospital escapee returned after he walked out of the psychiatric facility on Nov. 12, chartered a flight from Oahu to Maui, and then a commercial flight to California.

If returned to Hawaii, Saito would be held at the Oahu Community Correctional Center unless he posts $500,000 bail or bond for the escape charge, the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office said in a press release. If he posts bail, he will be returned to the State Hospital. The state intends to ask for bail to be increased or for the court to order him held without bail, the AG’s Office said.

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