Testimony concluded Thursday in the hearing concerning the mental stability of the man who intentionally drove his car into a group of Isla Vista pedestrians in 2001 and killed four people.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams will now decide whether to grant the restoration of sanity petition and unconditional release for David Attias, 39, who has spent the past two decades in a state psychiatric hospital and then a court-ordered outpatient supervision program (CONREP) in Ventura County.

Adams has been hearing testimony during the past two weeks from Attias himself, his friends and family, and professionals in psychology and psychiatry.

Attorneys summed up their cases in closing arguments Thursday afternoon.

Attias’ attorney, Jack Earley, said Attias appreciates what the program has done for him and the progress he’s made, but “it’s time for him to move on from CONREP.”

He has shown 21 years of compliance in the court-ordered programs, Earley said.

The program requires regular therapy, taking psychiatric medications, random drug testing and home visits, and permission before leaving the county.

Attias is committed to continuing his treatment and medications if his petition is approved and he’s released from CONREP, Earley said.

A lot of Attias’ own testimony focused on limitations because of the program, including his requirement to attend therapy sessions during weekdays and his perceived inability to get a better job because of it.

Earley argued that the program conditions were harder for Attias than some other clients because he is “high functioning and of above average intelligence.”  

Earley also said Attias has a history of sobriety since his arrest and that drug use is the biggest risk factor for him. 

Deputy District Attorney Maggie Charles started her comments by listing the names of the victims: Nick Bourdakis, Chris Divis, Elie Israel, Ruth Levy and Bert Levy, who was critically injured in the crash and died in 2016.

“This is extreme violence,” Charles said, urging the court not to lose sight of the crime when considering the petition.

A jury found Attias not guilty by reason of insanity after convicting him of murder during the criminal trial’s guilt phase.

“The burden is on him to convince you he is no longer a danger to others,” Charles said, and argued that Attias had not met that burden.

CONREP psychologists and program directors who testified said they do not think Attias could be safely living in the community without the structure of the program.

During cross-examination earlier in the hearing, Charles asked Attias’ father and girlfriend what they would do if Attias starts showing concerning behavior or taking drugs. His girlfriend said she would contact CONREP.

“If he gets his way and he’s restored to sanity, there would be no program for her to call,” Charles said.

Attias’ father, Daniel Attias, testified that he would voice his concerns to Attias.

That was the approach when Attias stopped taking his medication a few months into college at UCSB, and that clearly didn’t work, Charles said.  

Daniel Attias testified that he had threatened to cut his son off financially if he didn’t start taking medication again and get a therapist. Attias’ parents gave him time to find a therapist and eventually gave him a car, since they thought he needed one to see therapists in Santa Barbara.

“As we learned later, he was stringing us along,” Daniel Attias testified last week.

Adams will consider the evidence and issue a ruling on the petition “and get it to you soon,” he told attorneys Thursday.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com.