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Man returns to California to face murder charges

A 40-year-old Cocolalla man was extradited and returned to California from another state on a warrant involving first-degree murder charges. He is being held without bond in San Bernardino County. The man is accused of killing two men in 1995 whose remains have never been found.

The crime is alleged to have happened when the extradited man and an accomplice offered to sell ephedrine to the two missing men. Ephedrine is an ingredient used to make methamphetamine, and it is contended that selling them the drug was actually a ruse to rob the two men. Since the two were never seen after they left to meet with the extradited man and his accomplice, it is alleged that he and his partner killed them.

The accomplice was later sentenced to life in prison on another charge, and the Cocolalla man moved to Idaho where he has lived what seems to be a crime-free life. Friends packed the courtroom in Idaho to support him and profess their belief that he is innocent. However, California authorities also have some evidence that the accused man was involved with a group allegedly robbing drug houses in Los Angeles.

Any person charged with a homicide will benefit from having a criminal defense attorney review the case. An attorney may be able to suggest ways to have the charges reduced or dropped entirely. It can be difficult for a prosecutor to argue a murder case at trial when there isn't a body, and an attorney may also be able to use the fact that the alleged crime occurred a long time ago to argue the evidence is suspect. The passage of time makes it more difficult for the prosecution to find evidence and witnesses who accurately remember what happened.

Source: Bonner County Daily Bee, "Murder suspect extradited to CA to face charges," Keith Kinnaird, Jan. 23, 2013

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