Process to determine whether ex-doctor is released from locked mental ward starts today

Bruce Rowan is on track to appear Monday in Clallam County Superior Court for a hearing that may lead to the former Port Angeles doctor’s “conditional release” from a locked ward for the criminally insane.

A court hearing today at 3 p.m. before Judge George Wood is expected to confirm that next week’s hearing will proceed as planned, Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Shea said Monday.

Rowan was sent to Western State Hospital near Tacoma in November 1998 for an indefinite stay after a jury found the former Olympic Medical Center emergency room physician, now 38, innocent by reason of insanity for killing his wife, Deborah, with a baseball bat and the blunt end of an ax.

Wood will decide on Rowan’s limited release because Wood was the trial judge in the case.

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