Rep. Matt Shea just testified to the House Human Services Committee on his bill to ban most field trips for state mental facility patients. The bill is in response to an escape by one mental patient at a Spokane fair last year.
“Phillip Hall, in my opinion, is a dangerous, heartless killer,” said Rep. Norm Johnson. Hall killed a woman but didn’t go to prison because he was found mentally ill. Instead, he was sent to the state mental hospital. Johnson said 22 years after the killing, Hall was taken to the fair, where he escaped. He was found days later. “This should have never happened, and we can never let it happen again,” Johnson said.
The bill would ban patients who committed violent crimes and are in the state’s care from going on field trips.
The committee is jumping around to a few different bills, so the hearing is done for now. Stay tuned.