Wife-killer seeks release from mental hospital

February 24, 2009 5:57:42 AM PST
As he has regularly done, a Pennsylvania man seeks to leave the mental hospital where he has been since the 1978 killings of his wife and unborn son. This time, Richard Greist asks that his March 31 hearing be closed to the public. Judge Edward Griffith has scheduled a March 13 hearing on that request.

Greist slashed his 8-months-pregnant wife, mutilated the fetus, stabbed his 6-year-old daughter in the eye and attacked his grandmother at their East Coventry Township home. He said he believed they were possessed by the devil. Found innocent by reason of insanity, he's been held in Norristown State Hospital.

A judge ruled in 1986 that Greist's hearings be open following a challenge by the Daily Local News in West Chester and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Chester County prosecutor Peter Hobart opposes letting Greist "hide a discussion of his progress."

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Information from: Daily Local News, http://www.dailylocal.com

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