Murdered Woman’s Family Considers Possible Legal Action Against State

A man accused of murdering a woman disappeared from a state hospital, leading the victim's family to consider legal action.A man who escaped from a state mental hospital and was later accused by police deputies of slitting the throat of a woman at her Phoenix apartment has drawn the ire of the victim's family. They have reportedly considered contacting an injury attorney as a result of the alleged incident.

The Arizona Republic reports Jesus Rincon Murrieta escaped in May of this year from Arizona State Hospital. Reports indicate Murrieta ripped the security badge off the neck of an employee at the hospital, allowing him to leave on foot from the facility, located near 24th and Van Buren streets.

Though hospital administrators filed a missing persons report on Murrieta after he disappeared, they canceled the report the following day, according to reports. Hospital officials said he was considered a voluntary patient at the time and was no longer a danger to himself or others.

However, police deputies later apprehended Murrieta in August. Officials from Maricopa County affirmed he is the prime suspect in the incident, accused of slitting 32-year-old April Mott's throat during an altercation.

Murrieta is awaiting further judicial action in a Maricopa County jail, according to The Republic. Mott's family members are reportedly distraught, and they contend the state could have done more to prevent his escaping from the healthcare facility.

For their part, hospital officials said that although Murrieta was likely initially admitted under a court order, after such a document expires, the person is then technically considered a voluntary patient.

Still, family members said police deputies encountered Murrieta on six separate occasions after he disappeared from the facility. If the hospital had left the missing persons report in place, police officers would have recognized his connection to the facility.

Mott's mother, Monika Vinquist, asserts more could have been done to prevent her daughter's death.

"I believe April would still be alive today," had state officials acted differently, she said.

Often families of victims of violent crimes will work with injury lawyers as they fight for damages incurred as a result of the crimes.