- Associated Press - Thursday, April 21, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A man who escaped from a psychiatric hospital in Washington state where he was sent after being accused of torturing and killing a woman will be sent to a federal mental facility for a competency evaluation, a judge ordered Thursday.

Anthony Garver, 28, must be examined at a federal Bureau of Prisons facility to determine if he can understand the allegations against him, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Shea said.

“There is a question if he really has a competency issue,” said Stephanie Van Marter, an assistant U.S. attorney.

Garver, also known as Anthony Burke, escaped April 6 from Western State Hospital in Lakewood, where he was held after authorities said he tortured a 20-year-old Snohomish County woman who was bound with electrical cords and stabbed to death on 2013.

Garver was sent to Western State’s locked civil ward after he was ruled not competent to help with his own defense. Criminal charges were dismissed and he was ordered held as a danger to himself or others. Officials were trying to restore his competency.

Garver said nothing in court on Thursday. He wore a white jail jumpsuit and his unruly hair fell into his eyes. He conferred a few times with his lawyer, Peter Schweda.

Garver’s case is in federal court because he never completed court-ordered supervision on federal charges of possessing illegal ammunition.

Schweda argued that his client should remain in the state and be evaluated by state officials rather than sent to a federal facility elsewhere.

But the judge noted that Garver had escaped from state custody.

“There is reason to be concerned about security,” Shea said.

Garver escaped by crawling out a window of a locked, lower-security unit with an accomplice, who was caught the next day. Garver was captured April 8 in a rural part of Spokane County.

Garver bought a bus ticket to Spokane, where his parents live. His father called authorities to report his son had stopped for a visit, triggering the manhunt that led to his capture.

Garver previously escaped from custody in 2009, 2010 and 2013 while undergoing mental evaluations in other cases.

Garver’s last competency evaluation occurred in January and a report showed no progress had been made in restoring his competency.


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