A Santa Barbara judge has ruled that David Attias, who in 2001 declared he was the "angel of death" after killing four pedestrians and severely injuring a fifth, should be transferred from Patton State Hospital to a less restrictive outpatient program.
Attias, then a student at UC Santa Barbara, was charged with murder after deliberately plowing his car into a crowd on an Isla Vista street. A jury in 2002 found him legally insane.
In a ruling released Tuesday, Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Thomas R. Adams said the now-30-year-old man was "clearly not the same vacant, troubled and confused David Attias" he observed while presiding over his trial. Petitioning for his release from Patton, Attias testified at a hearing last spring, as did four of the hospital's mental health professionals.
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