Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Patient deemed

By Debra Barayuga


A man acquitted of murdering his parents after being found mentally ill two decades ago no longer will be able to leave the State Hospital unescorted.

Circuit Judge Michael Town yesterday revoked 12-hour unescorted passes issued to Chong Ui Park after an examination by a panel of three court-appointed doctors in November.

The doctors determined that Park poses a significant danger "to others, himself and to property," said Deputy Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro Jr.

The examination was ordered after Park last year asked to be released from the State Hospital. The 12-hour passes had been issued since 1998 to help reintegrate Park into the community after one doctor found Park wasn't a danger.

Park, 41, has spent nearly half his life at the Kaneohe facility, where he was committed shortly after his acquittal in May 1980. He was accused of shooting his parents with a semiautomatic weapon at their Kuhio Park Terrace apartment in November 1979.

Deputy public defender Carol Kunishima withdrew the motion for release in December after the latest panel of doctors issued its findings. Kunishima told the court yesterday Park was no longer being issued the passes.

If the court had heard Park's motion for release and denied it, he would have had to wait a year before renewing his request. Park now can reapply again at any time but would have to undergo another examination by another panel of doctors.

Park was granted a conditional release to a halfway home in the early 1990s, but was returned to the State Hospital after he attempted suicide.

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