Mentally ill killer to walk free?

SEATTLE (KING) –  A court hearing Thursday is putting a spotlight on the debate over when a killer should be released from the custody of a Washington state mental health professionals after the killer has pleaded insanity.

Jeffrey Schuler is eligible for conditional release from Western State Hospital, 13 years after he murdered Sophia Kim in their Ballard apartment.

Kim was found beaten, stabbed 25 times with a sword and partially decapitated in August 2001.

Schuler was found at a neighbor’s house, naked and making rambling claims he was attacked in a home invasion.

The case is considered an extreme example of what can happen when a diagnosed schizophrenic is not taking their medication.

Schuler has a long history of violence and not taking his medication. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murdering Kim. If granted conditional release, Schuler would be allowed to earn unsupervised trips into the community.

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