HONOLULU – The retired U.S. judge who was tied up after a man allegedly shot and killed three people in Honolulu in 2006 says he's satisfied with a ruling that dismisses all charges but recommits him to a psychiatric hospital.
Capping one of Hawaii's most infamous cases, a state judge last week found Adam Mau unfit to stand trial and dismissed all charges, including murder and kidnapping. Mau was accused of taking a taxi to a scenic lookout, where he killed the driver and a couple photographing city lights. He drove to the nearby home of former U.S. Magistrate Joseph Gedan and tied up Gedan, his wife and their housekeeper before fleeing in Gedan's car.
"I guess that's appropriate because if he went to trial, he would be found not guilty by reason of insanity," Gedan told The Associated Press Monday, adding the ruling seemed like a "foregone conclusion."
The Gedans are satisfied with the outcome — as long as Mau remains committed, Gedan said.
The 124-page ruling says Mau is re-committed to the custody of the state Department of Health, to be placed in an appropriate medical institution such as the Hawaii State Hospital.
Mau, who is also known as Adam Koon Wai Mau-Goffredo, has been at the hospital since 2008 and is likely to remain there for a long time, said his defense attorney, Brook Hart.
"Adam never tried to leave or even spoke of leaving," Hart said, unlike another patient who was found not guilty by reason of insanity of a 1979 murder. Randall Saito left the state hospital outside Honolulu in November and took a taxi to a chartered plane that took him to the island of Maui and then boarded another plane to San Jose, California, where he was captured.
The ruling concluded that Mau isn't able to help with his defense. "The court concludes that defendant's memory deficits combined with ongoing symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as six brain injuries in addition to his birth trauma, impair his ability to understand abstract concepts and rationally weigh that various factors involved in making the legal decisions which would be required of him in a trial in these criminal proceedings," the ruling said.
Honolulu prosecutors, who opposed dismissing the charges and argued that he should be found fit to stand trial, didn't comment on the ruling.
Peter Carlisle, who was Honolulu's prosecuting attorney in 2006, called it one of the worst cases he has seen. "I think the bottom line is there's absolutely no way this guy should be set free in the community before he is dead," Carlisle said.