11 Jan 2018

Escaped Hawaii mental health patient to be extradited

8:38 am on 11 January 2018

An escaped mental health patient, who was acquitted of first degree murder after pleading insanity in 1979, is due to be extradited back to Hawaii from the US mainland.

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Photo: RNZ/Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Last November, Randall Saito walked out of Hawaii State Hospital and was able to take a taxi to the airport.

He was arrested in California where he challenged his extradition in court but failed.

Media reports say since 2010, 17 patients have escaped the hospital, which has just been reaccredited by the Hawaii Department of Health.

ABC News had earlier reported Mr Saito fled in an "act of desperation," claiming patient rights were being denied.