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Originally published Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 8:06 AM

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Sheriff to bill Wash. state $37K for inmate hunt

The Spokane County sheriff says he'll bill Washington state $37,000 for the cost of hunting down an insane killer who walked away from a county fair field trip arranged by his mental hospital.

The Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. —

The Spokane County sheriff says he'll bill Washington state $37,000 for the cost of hunting down an insane killer who walked away from a county fair field trip arranged by his mental hospital.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich tells the Spokesman-Review that the search for Phillip Arnold Paul involved a team of deputies and the sheriff's office helicopter. It began Sept. 17 when Paul walked away from the Eastern State Hospital field trip to the Spokane County Interstate Fair.

Paul was arrested Sunday near Goldendale and returned to the mental hospital.

He told KXLY-TV that his escape wasn't planned - that he saw an opportunity at the fairgrounds and took it. However, when captured, Paul was carrying a backpack with food, clothing and personal items. He also had a guitar and sleeping bag.

Paul was committed to the mental hospital in 1987 after he was acquitted by reason of insanity for killing a 78-year-old Sunnyside woman.

Hospital CEO Harold Wilson has resigned. The escape remains under investigation by the state Department of Social and Health Services.

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