Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 4:00 pm | Fair 76º

 
 
 
 

Judge Grants Conditional Release to Man Who Killed 4

David Attias, 30, was sent to a psychiatric hospital after a 2001 rampage in which he drove his speeding car down a crowded Isla Vista street

David Attias, who ran down and killed four people with his car on an Isla Vista street in 2001, was in court in May seeking to be released from a mental hospital. A judge ruled Tuesday in favor of his release. (KEYT News photo)
David Attias, who ran down and killed four people with his car on an Isla Vista street in 2001, was in court in May seeking to be released from a mental hospital. A judge ruled Tuesday in favor of his release. (KEYT News photo)

Almost three months after hearings wrapped up in the David Attias case, Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams issued a ruling Tuesday that the former UCSB student, who has been in a state psychiatric hospital for 10 years after killing four people with his vehicle, be granted conditional release and be able to live in an unlocked community outpatient program.

Attias, 30, was convicted of four counts of second-degree murder stemming from a 2001 rampage in which the then-UCSB freshman struck and killed four people and seriously injured another while speeding in his car down a crowded Isla Vista street.

The jury concluded he was legally insane, and he’s been living at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino since 2002.

On May 20 of this year, a week-long hearing began to re-evaluate Attias’ status and see if he qualified for release into the community. 

A host of staff that work with Attias at Patton were called to the stand to testify about his mental state and whether he would benefit from being in the community rather than at Patton. Attias himself even testified, and Adams eventually ruled in his favor. To read the entire ruling, scroll down.

“The David Attias that was called to testify by the prosecution was clearly not the same vacant, troubled and confused David Attias that this court became acquainted with in 2001,” Adams wrote in his ruling.

“The changes that had come about as a result of 10 years of intensive therapy and appropriate medications were apparent to the court in the presentation of testimony that was given by Mr Attias.”

Prosecutor Paula Waldman, who argued against Attias’ release, said she was disappointed with the ruling. She said that Attias’ long history of violence, drug abuse and non-compliance with psychiatric medications and therapy were the prime reasons she fought against his release.

“I believe it’s not a matter of if he will ever become violent again, but simply when and that is a chance that the public should not have to tolerate,” she said.

Superior Court Ruling on David Attias’ Release

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >