The Santa Barbara County Superior Court heard additional testimonies on Monday regarding the legal fate of David Attias, who struck and killed four people in a 2001 vehicle/pedestrian collision now known as the “Isla Vista Massacre.”
The court has yet to decide if Attias is suitable for transfer to an outpatient psychiatric facility.
Attias was charged not guilty by reason of insanity in 2002 when he drove his 1991 Saab into a crowd of pedestrians on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde Rd., striking five individuals and killing four. Attias, then an 18-year-old freshman, was initially found guilty of four counts of second-degree murder but was later deemed legally insane and sentenced to up to 60 years in a state mental hospital. Last month he began seeking release from Patton Mental Hospital near San Bernardino, claiming that his bipolar disorder is under control.
During the trial, public defender Deedra Edgar said although Attias has reportedly displayed explicitly sexual and argumentative behavior during his stay at Patton, he has remained nonviolent and taken all his medication, making him suitable for transfer to a halfway house.
“He is no longer psychotic,” Edgar said at the trial. “His mental health is stable and therefore he no longer poses a danger to himself or others.”
The night of the massacre, Attias drove into the crowd at high speed, killing UCSB students Nick Bourdakis and Christopher Divis as well as Santa Barbara City College student Ruth Levy and San Francisco resident Ellie Israel. In addition, Albert Levy was critically injured in the accident. Following the collision, Attias exited his vehicle and yelled ‘I am the angel of death.’
Attias is the son of prominent television director and producer Daniel Attias, who has produced shows such as “Miami Vice,” the original “21 Jump Street” series, “The Sopranos” and “Entourage” among several other productions.
— Staff Report