Isaac Zamora, the Skagit County man who killed six people, including a sheriff’s deputy and a friend in 2008, was transferred to the Department of Corrections just after 8 a.m. today after he was deemed too dangerous for staff at the state mental hospital.
According to a Department of Social and Health Services’ news release sent this morning, the patient transferred to Monroe presented “an unreasonable safety risk in a state hospital setting.”
DSHS did not identify the patient, but the Department of Corrections identified him as Zamora.
Zamora has been “well behaved and compliant” since arriving at the Special Offender Unit at the Monroe Correctional Complex, said Scott Frakes, Deputy Director of Prisons. Zamora has been assigned to an ultra-restrictive cell area while staff at the prison mental health unit evaluate him, Frakes added.
“As soon as we can determine the safest housing setting for him, the least restrictive, that’s where we want to move him to,” Frakes said. “The goal is to provide adequate mental health treatment and ensure adequate staff safety.”
Zamora’s case marks the first time the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has used a new state law allowing them to transfer a patient found not guilty by reason of insanity to the Department of Corrections (DOC) because of safety concerns.
“In order to protect the safety of staff, patients and the public, I had no choice but to ask DOC Secretary Bernie Warner to temporarily house this (not guilty by reason of insanity) patient as a boarder in one of the secure Department of Corrections facilities,” DSHS Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams said in a statement.
Since Zamora remains in the legal custody of DSHS, there is a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies. Zamora will be jointly reviewed by both departments every 90 days, according to DSHS.
On Sept. 2, 2008, Zamora broke into a neighbor’s house and stole a shotgun and a rifle.
He then went to the home of his neighbor and friend, Chester Rose, and killed him. He then fatally shot Skagit County sheriff’s Deputy Anne Jackson.
Down the street, he killed carpenters David Radcliffe and Greg Gillum, who had been working on another neighbor’s home, and stole their truck.
He next killed Julie Binschus and wounded her husband at their home. He fled in the stolen pickup toward Interstate 5, where he fired upon several people, killing motorist LeRoy Lange and injuring a State Patrol trooper before surrendering in Mount Vernon.
He would later tell a Skagit County judge, “I kill for God.”