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$6.5M lawsuit claims mental patient killed Eugene man during 'holiday leave'

Josh Jaschke is set to go trial starting April 16 for allegedly killing 49-year-old Spiros "Steve" Ghenatos in Eugene.

Posted: Mar 14, 2019 7:34 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The family of a Eugene man who was stabbed to death in April 2017 has filed a $6.5 million lawsuit against the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board and Springfield Police, claiming the alleged killer was on "holiday leave" from a state-run mental hospital at the time.

Josh Jaschke is set to go trial, starting April 16, for allegedly killing 49-year-old Spiros "Steve" Ghenatos in Eugene. Ghenatos' friend Sherri Shaw said the two men knew each other and Jaschke was staying at Ghenatos' apartment.

"He took a beautiful person out of this world," Shaw said. "Steve would have done anything for anyone."

The lawsuit alleges the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board failed to supervise Jaschke when he was on a holiday pass that was set up to allow him to visit his mom in southern Oregon.

Court documents state Jaschke was serving a 20-year sentence for first-degree assault.

The lawsuit also alleges that before the murder, the Springfield Police Department let Jaschke go after a domestic dispute even though they knew he was supposed to be in custody for violating the conditions of his holiday leave.

Shaw said she believes that Jaschke is faking the mental illness.

"I hope he gets locked up for the rest of his life," Shaw said. "I hope he goes to a prison where he belongs, in a cage."

KEZI 9 News reached out to the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board and the city of Springfield, but both said they could not comment on pending litigation.

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