An alleged contract killer is being held in Alabama and now California prosecutors are hoping to charge him with additional crimes. According to reports, the alleged “hit man” was charged with killing nine people in three countries over the course of 30 years. The 51-year-old defendant has been charged for crimes that allegedly targeted victims in several counties throughout California.
The case raises important questions about state jurisdiction, extradition, and the rights of a criminal defendant. Our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys will take every opportunity to defend the rights of our clients. We are also committed to staying abreast of legal issues that impact residents of Alabama and defendants nationwide. The defendant in this case is being held on charges for crimes in Alabama, but could face additional charges and penalties if also charged in California.
According to reports, the defendant resided in a small community in California and authorities have named him as a suspect in two 2006 Florida killings as well as crimes in Alabama and California. If charged and convicted of the crimes in California, the defendant could face the death penalty. Authorities have alleged that the defendant worked as a contract killer, although investigators have yet to name the individuals who paid for the murders.
California authorities reportedly received information from Alabama law enforcement after the June 2013 arrest of the defendant. Law enforcement officials continue to make visits to the Alabama prison where the defendant is being held. According to the prosecution, California authorities have been able to “piece together” evidence linking the defendant to nine murders. In addition to homicide charges, the defendant could face additional charges of attempted murder, murder for financial gain, kidnapping, and the aggravated offense of multiple murders.
The defendant will be charged with crimes in Alabama, but it is unclear whether he will also face charges in California. Though criminal charges are handled by individual states, states all have extradition laws and honor those of other states when a defendant is residing elsewhere. The laws surrounding these legal issues can be complicated and individuals who are facing charges in another state should be wary of extradition procedures.
Interstate extradition (a.k.a. interstate rendition) is a legal process that involves the surrender of a defendant from one state to another for trial or punishment. It is similar, but very distinct from international extradition law which involves turning over a defendant to another country’s jurisdiction. Interstate rendition is mandated by Article 4, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. Under this clause, states upon demand of another state must deliver that fugitive, in accordance with state processes. Interstate extradition requires a complex procedure and documentation. An experienced advocate can review any documentation requesting interstate extradition in Alabama to protect your rights. Extradition can be denied if the documents are not in order, if charges are not filed, or if there is another available defense. Again, this is a complex area of law and individuals who are facing criminal charges or interstate extradition should consult with an experienced advocate to protect their right and interests.