A mentally ill man who admitted to brutally killing a Forest Grove man may be back on the streets as soon as Wednesday thanks to a legal loophole.
Investigators say Yovane Muro, using a throwing star and a butterfly knife, stabbed Gilberto Ramos to death in a Forest Grove park back in 2004.
The Washington County District Attorney's Office says they were forced to drop the charges against Muro because a state doctor found him unfit to stand trial.
Assistant District Attorney Bracken McKey says that because Muro is no longer a criminal, he is now technically a mental patient.
That means patient privacy laws will not allow for doctors to tell anyone if and when he is released from the hospital, or where he goes from there.
"He could be in the middle of Barnes Road tomorrow hurting somebody, and no one would know," said McKey.
"I guess that's because his patient privacy rights apparently take precedent over the community and over the victim's family, I guess, according to state health officials, none of that matters," said McKey.
Muro confessed to killing Ramosin Lincoln Park back in 2004. He has spent time in and out of state mental hospitals ever since.
During that time, Muro attacked the staff and patients there in10 different instances.
Last week, a judge recommended that Muro be recommitted to Oregon State Hospital, but Washington County Mental Health officials refuse to send him back there.
On top of that, McKey said, they won't divulge any treatment information to the DA's office, citing HIPPA regulations, now that Muro is simply a patient.
McKey said it's possible health officials will decide to re-commit Muro. It's also just as possible they will decide to release him into a group home or even set him free with no supervision.
The worst part, McKey says, is not being allowed to know what their decision will be. And that, he says, puts the entire public at risk.
"Someone is going to get hurt without a doubt in my mind. He's extremely dangerous," said McKey.
Muro is in the country illegally, but because he hasn't been convicted of a crime, he can't be deported.
FOX 12 contacted Washington County Mental Health to get its side of why they aren't releasing any information, but they were unavailable for comment.
Copyright KPTV 2012 (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:11 PM EDT2013-06-19 03:11:45 GMT
A former Sherwood High School teacher is facing charges of sex abuse, the alleged victims three students. Washington County deputies say Denise Keesee turned herself into detectives today after monthsMore >
A former Sherwood High School teacher is facing charges of sex abuse and police say the victims are two former students.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:47 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:47:39 GMT
A group of homeowners in Clackamas County is banding together to send crooks a strong message about an increase in crime in their neighborhood. They're starting to post signs that read, "Glock block. WeMore >
Homeowners in the Milwaukie area are posting signs in their neighborhood that say: "Glock block. We don't call 9-1-1."More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >
A driver is now facing charges for the death of a man dribbling a soccer ball along the West Coast with a mission of making it to the World Cup. Richard Swanson, 42, of Seattle, was hit from behind byMore >
A driver is now facing charges for the death of a man dribbling a soccer ball along the West Coast with a mission of making it to the World Cup.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:27 AM EDT2013-06-18 15:27:20 GMT
A 3-year-old girl was taken by Life Flight to the trauma center after falling into a crawlspace and hitting her head. Emergency crews said it happened just before 6 p.m. Monday on Meyers Road in OregonMore >
A 3-year-old girl was taken by Life Flight to the trauma center after falling into a crawlspace and hitting her head.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:58 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:58:23 GMT
Clackamas and Gladstone firefighters are responding to High Rocks Park in the Gladstone area to search for a missing person in the Clackamas River.Further details weren't immediately available, but FOXMore >
Construction workers called 911 after spotting a man struggling in the water as he was swept down river near High Rocks Park.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 3:19 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:19:36 GMT
A disgruntled man is accused of filing a false police report about a rape threat and possible hostage situation that shut down a Gresham neighborhood early Monday morning. Police said the report cameMore >
A disgruntled man is accused of filing a false police report about a rape threat and possible hostage situation that shut down a Gresham neighborhood early Monday morning.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:05 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:05:43 GMT
A former coach at Catlin Gabel school turned himself in on charges of luring a minor Monday morning. Washington County deputies said Deonte Huff was originally arrested back in May at his apartment onMore >
A former coach at Catlin Gabel school turned himself in on charges of luring a minor Monday morning.More >