Washington state killer captured after field-trip escape

Authorities combed Washington state for Phillip Paul, a killer who escaped Thursday during a field trip.
A legally insane killer who escaped in Washington state during a field trip was recaptured Sunday, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Department told CNN.

Phillip Paul’s capture came three days after he escaped in Spokane County, Washington. After escaping, he was the subject of a massive manhunt. Details of the capture weren’t immediately available. Though Paul had been confined in a mental institution because of a murder confession, he was allowed to be part of Thursday’s trip to a county fair. Paul, 47, escaped from the fair around noon Thursday, bringing criticism from many, including state government officials. Sheriff’s officials told CNN affiliate KREM-TV that Paul also escaped briefly in 1991 and assaulted a law enforcement officer. A review of the policy that allows patients to take trips has been launched, said Susan Dreyfus, secretary of the state’s Department of Social and Health Services. Dreyfus said she was concerned about Paul’s escape and another recent brief escape by a patient at a different local mental facility. Paul was committed to Eastern State Hospital after admitting he strangled and slit the throat of community activist Ruth Motley in 1987, KREM reported. According to court documents obtained by KREM, Paul believed Motley was a witch and killed her in response to voices in his head.

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He subsequently burned a deer carcass as a sacrifice, according the documents.