A Washington man who was committed to a Maryland state mental hospital eight years ago being charged in the stabbing death of a former colleague has filed suit against the hospital claiming that he is being denied his "legal rights to . . . psychiatric treatment."

In his suit, Rodney W. Kingirski, who had worked as a chemist before the 1970 stabbing murder, charges that state authorities simply warehoused him in the state's system of mental hospitals without psychiatric treatment and without a chance of rehabilitating himself.

Eight years ago the Prince George's police found Kingirski, now 43, standing in the lobby of an apartment building in College Park holding a bloody sword. They charged him with stabbing to death a woman with whom he used to work. The incident took place outside the door of her fourth floor apartment in the same building.

In the subsequent trial, Kingirski was found not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered committed.

Now Kingirski lives in a ward at the Spring Grove State Mental Hospital with six other patients. "About two years ago, (the Spring Grove doctors) told him he had no future, he was never going to get well," said Kingirski's attorney C. Christopher Brown.

"The doctor even repeated it to me. He said "See that plant there,' pointing to a small pot . . . 'Kingirski's going to be no better than that plant in 10 years.'" The suit asks a U.S. judge to order Spring Grove to provide psychiatric treatment and give Kingirski vocational or academic opportunities.

Before his confinement at Spring Grove, Kingirski had an IQ measured at 131. Brown said. After three years in the state mental hospital his IQ had dropped to 113, according to the attorney.