Port Angeles: Mental hospital recommends “conditional release” for Bruce Rowan

A former Port Angeles doctor who used a baseball bat and ax to bludgeon his wife to death in 1998 is now eligible for “conditional release” from a state mental hospital.

But first this must be approved by a local judge.

Western State Hospital’s Risk Review Board has recommended that Bruce Rowan continue being treated there — but that he be released from a locked ward for the criminally insane and be eligible for unsupervised visits off hospital grounds.

Rowan, acquitted in the murder by reason of insanity, is also eligible for “overnight and daily activities off hospital grounds” and “may leave the state of Washington for visits,” according to the recommendation, received by Clallam County officials late Monday.

Rowan, 38, cannot get conditional release without the approval of Superior Court Judge George Wood. He presided at Rowan’s trial in Port Angeles four years ago.

Wood will rule on the recommendation after hearing arguments during a hearing that must be held by June 5.

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The rest of this story appears in the Tuesday Peninsula Daily News. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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