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Santa Barbara 'angel of death' to live in state-run facility

September 5, 2012 |  7:29 am

The "angel of death" who killed four pedestrians and severely injured a fifth when he plowed his car into an Isla Vista crowd will move to a state-run facility after his release from a state hospital, officials said.

Former UC Santa Barbara student David Attias asked three months ago to be freed from Patton State Hospital, and Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams agreed that Attias no longer posed a threat to society. He had been found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2001 tragedy.

When Attias struck the pedestrians, he screamed that he was the "angel of death," witnesses and officials said. Patton therapists testified at a June hearing that intensive therapy and medication had helped him sufficiently to allow his release to a less-restrictive but highly supervised facility.

His attorney, Deedrea Edgar of the Santa Barbara County public defender's office, said Tuesday that it was unclear in which state-run facility Attias would reside. Under the terms of the release, she said, he'll be supervised around the clock.

He has not sought and does not intend to seek reinstatement of his driver's license, she said.

Abby Pollak, the mother of Elie Israel, one of the pedestrians who was killed, said she was "profoundly disappointed" with the ruling.


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