SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A man who gunned down seven co-workers a decade ago and this month sought his freedom from a state mental hospital on grounds that he's longer insane was denied freedom by a judge who ruled that no one could rule the killer sane.
'It seems that all of the doctors are unanimous that your client has not regained his sanity,' Superior Court Judge Donald McCartin told Edward Allaway's lawyer, Dennis Coggins, on Monday.
'I think it is the unanimous opinion of all the experts that Mr. Allaway should not be released into the community,' McCartin said.
On July 12, 1976, Allaway, a janitor at the Cal State Fullerton campus, walked into the library with a .22-caliber rifle and shot nine co-workers at close range. Only two of the victims survived.
Allaway was found innocent by reason of insanity for the killings and has been confined at Atascadero State Hospital near San Luis Obispo.
Allaway, who was led away in handcuffs Monday, had asked the court to release him into an Orange County outpatient program. He insists he has regained his sanity and no longer poses a threat to himself or society.
'What I've done is unforgivable,' Allaway, 48, told McCartin during a three-day hearing last week. 'It can't be changed ... but I hate that part of me.'
McCartin sided with Deputy District Attorney Martin Engquist, who argued that Allaway had not proved he was mentally competent.
'Mr. Allaway is very articulate and very composed. He makes an excellent witness and appears to be more sane than the witnesses you gentlemen called,' McCartin said Monday. However, McCartin said he would be 'more insane than Mr. Allaway' if he released the former janitor into the community.
McCartin ordered Allaway returned to the state Department of Mental Health for placement in a state hospital. He left undecided Allaway's request to be transferred from the maximum-security facility at Atascadero to the less restrictive Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino, calling it a 'bureaucratic decision' best made by mental health experts.
Allaway will be allowed to request another sanity hearing in a year, Engquist said.