US murder suspect transferred to Hawaii Tonga told to file extradition request

The US murder suspect who escaped Tonga last month is now in Honolulu, Hawaii a move that could hasten Tonga’s application to have him extradited to the kingdom.

But the US authority has warned the decision to extradite him will be up to the US Department of State.

He was expected to appear at a Honolulu court on  November 28.

Dean Jay Fletcher, 54, had been accused of murdering his 56-year-old wife Patricia Linne Kearney while they were holidaying in the northern islands of Vava’u late in July.

Fletcher was due to appear in court last month but he managed to escape from a police cell in Neiafu and flee on his yacht, the Sea Oak.

He was later arrested and detained in American Samoa.

According to Hawaii media, the U.S. marshals escorted him to Honolulu Tuesday because there’s no federal court in American Samoa.

They said this would give Tongan authority  two months to provide authorities in Honolulu with extradition documents.

“It will be up to the U.S. Department of State to determine if he’ll be extradited”, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Butrick.

Reports said Tongan officials went to American Samoa last months in hope they would return with Fletcher to Tonga but they left without him.

Mediacomtoday report has quoted a document filed at US Federal Court in Honolulu as saying “Three diving operators saw Fletcher assaulting his wife on a dinghy after she picked him up July 6 at the Neiafu Port of Refuge”.

“Fletcher kept kicking and punching Kearney as the couple arrived at another boat, named Sea Oak, which was moored about 100 meters from shore, Tonga officials told U.S. prosecutors”.

It says Fletcher had reported the alleged incident to Neiafu Police Station the following day saying his wife had died when she slipped and fell down stairs on their yacht.

“While in police custody on July 11, Fletcher asked a detective for permission to use the toilet then ran out of the police station and was caught after a brief foot chase, authorities said”.

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