A murder suspect who escaped from Western State Hospital in 2016 is not expected to stand trial until this summer.
The trial for Anthony Garver — which was set for Jan. 12 but has been pushed to August — has been delayed by questions about his mental health.
Garver has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the 2013 slaying of 20-year-old Phillipa Evans-Lopez in 2013.
Evans-Lopez was found tied to a bed in her Lake Stevens home. Her throat was slashed, and she had been stabbed more than two dozen times.
Court documents say Garver’s DNA was found on the electrical cords used to bind Evans-Lopez. Her blood was also discovered on a knife seized from Garver.
Garver was sent to Western State Hospital psychiatric hospital in Lakewood in July 2014 after being found incompetent to stand trial on the first-degree murder charge.
He escaped from Western State, the state’s largest psychiatric facility, through a key-locked window in April 2016 along with another patient, who was caught by authorities the next day.
The two men had spent months tampering with the bolts on the window so they could open it, police said.
After a two-day manhunt in Spokane County, police located Garver hiding under a pile of debris in the woods and apprehended him without incident.
The state Department of Social and Health Services secretary was replaced following the escape, as was the hospital’s chief executive officer.
Garver is serving a two-year sentence in state prison for a probation violation.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Tess Riski: 253-597-8651