Murder suspect Lee may not fight return to California

Murder suspect Lee may not fight return to California

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Prosecutors in Anchorage tell CBS Local 2/KESQ Newschannel 3 that murder suspect Christopher Lee plans to waive the extradition process back to San Bernardino County to face charges for the death of his former neighbor and alleged lover Erin Corwin.

"We have some new developments where we have a trial scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday), I believe its tomorrow morning, where we believe Mr. Lee is likely to waive his extradition," says Clint Campion, Anchorage Deputy District Attorney.

Lee, 24, initially told authorities in Alaska he wanted an attorney to fight the process of extradition that would bring him back to California, but Campion says that appears to have changed.

"That's the information we have at this time," says Campion.  "Again, he could change his mind and the judge could have some concerns about it.  But that's what we're understanding is going to happen."

The decision could avoid weeks of court dates and legal meetings to get the accused murderer back into the state where he allegedly killed 19-year-old Corwin, then dumped her body 140 feet down a mineshaft near the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base.

"We've definitely done this before, and it does take a month or longer. If Mr. Lee decides to exercise his right to an extradition process," explained Campion. 

Meanwhile, authorities in California and Alaska continue to work together, collecting evidence that could lead to a conviction.

"It appears that the San Bernardino (County) Sheriff's Office believes there may be evidence that supports their investigation here in Alaska and they've been coordinating with the Anchorage police department and Alaska state troopers for assistance in that process," adds Campion. 

Lee is being held on $2 million bail.  The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office initially asked for no bail, but that conflicted with Alaska state laws.

"Under Alaska state law, all defendants are entitled to some bail.  It's a constitutional right and a federal requirement in Alaska, so we made the request for our court here to adopt the bail set in San Bernardino county initially, which was $2 million," says Campion.

Stay with CBS Local 2/KESQ throughout the day for more on the extradition process.

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