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David Attias denied restoration of sanity and release from supervised program

David Attias and (previous) Public Defender Deedrea Edgar
David Attias and (previous) Public Defender Deedrea Edgar

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams has denied David Attias's request for more freedom.

The 39-year-old man was convicted in 2002 of mowing down students on Sabado Tarde Road in Isla Vista in 2001. He was a student at UCSB, driving his father's car at the time, speeding at 65 miles an hour.

Ruth Levy, Elie Isreal, Chris Divis and Nick Bourdakis died at the scene. A fifth person, Albert Levy, Ruth's brother, suffered life threatening injuries. He died in 2016 after suffered a seizure related to his injuries.

On February 23, 2022, Attias was in Judge Adam's courtroom after petitioning for restoration of sanity. The first day of his court appearance coincided with the 21st anniversary of the quadruple vehicular homicide.

Attias and his parents spent nearly a week in Santa Barbara County Superior Court as he fought for restoration of sanity.

David Attias, parents and attorney leaving court. (Tracy Lehr/KEYT)

Attias is currently in a conditional-release program (CONREP) in Ventura County, as part of his sentence. Before that, he served time in a state psychiatric hospital.

Judge Adams denied Attias's request after considering testimony from CONREP clinicians who do not believe Attias is ready to be released.

Assistant District Attorney John Savrnoch released the following statement to News Channel 3-12:

"We feel the decision is in the best interest of public safety. Our decision to oppose the application was based on the opinions and observations of the mental health professionals who supervise Attias’ care. The order concurred with our position based on the testimony of treating professionals that the applicant was in need of further treatment before he could be considered restored to sanity."

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Beth Farnsworth

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