YAKIMA, Wash. - The woman accused of murder at Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake became a patient there because of crimes she committed in Yakima County.
30-year-old Amber Roberts was acquitted by reason of insanity for first degree murder, kidnapping, robbery and theft out of Yakima County in 2003. Prior to that, she was convicted of reckless endangerment in Yakima County in 2001.
Investigators say on Tuesday, Roberts strangled a 56-year-old patient, Duane Charley.
Today, Roberts pleaded not guilty and her bond is set at $1 million dollars.
Court documents report that Roberts approached a staffer making rounds in the Forensic Services Unit at 2:45am Tuesday, saying, "I murdered someone, but you're going to have to find him."
The staffer moved from room to room down the ward with Roberts following, saying, "You're getting warmer."
When the staffer approached the room of patient Charley, Roberts said, "You're hot."
When the staffer looked in the room, he saw Charley lying on the ground covered by a blanket. That wasn't alarming, as Charley had slept on the floor before.
But when the staffer pulled back the blanket, he saw Charley's face and hands were covered in blood. Court documents show Roberts told the staff she had strangled him with an electrical cord.
Roberts was placed in an isolation cell, and the rest of the unit was evacuated as police and investigators were called.
Court documents also show Roberts was agitated the night before and told another patient, "I'm going to kill someone," but that patient thought she had calmed down and didn't tell the staff. Documents also show Charley's roommate saw Roberts kill him, and told him, "Don't say anything or you'll be next."
Patients in the Forensic Services Unit are there by court order; they've either been convicted of a crime, or acquitted of one by reason of insanity. Documents describe the unit as a home for the criminally insane.
Also in court records obtained by KHQ, Duane Charley was acquitted by reason of insanity of indecent liberties out of Grant County, Washington, back in 1994.
Friday, May 24 2013 9:32 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:32:22 GMT
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