NATIONAL NEWS

The man sought in New York in the fatal bludgeoning at a hotel won’t waive extradition from Arizona

Mar 4, 2024, 12:04 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — The man sought in New York in last month’s fatal bludgeoning of a woman in a Manhattan hotel said in an Arizona courtroom Monday that he would not waive formal extradition proceedings while he’s being prosecuted for subsequent stabbing attacks on two other women in Phoenix.

Raad Almansoori is being held without bond in Phoenix on charges of attempted murder and other counts associated with the separate stabbings of two women that occurred after he traveled to Arizona from New York.

Bond in the separate civil case on the extradition issue is $5 million.

Almansoori appeared Monday before Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner Barbara Spencer, who emphasized that the Arizona case must play out before any extradition case can move forward. Three more such procedural hearings are scheduled over the next 90 days.

In one possible scenario, the Arizona governor could issue an extradition warrant in the case for the Feb. 8 killing in New York, but that would serve as a hold while the fugitive’s local charges are being prosecuted, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said. If a warrant is issued, it would be served on Almansoori after the local case has played out if he doesn’t receive a prison or jail term of over six months.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office will continue to press for Almansoori’s return to New York, said office spokesperson Emily Tuttle.

“We are proceeding as we do in each and every case involving an out-of-state arrest: following the facts and the law to ensure justice is served,” Tuttle said.

Dakota Johnson, Almansoori’s lead defense attorney in the Arizona case, said he would have no comment on the Arizona charges or New York’s hope to extradite his client for prosecution there. Almansoori is scheduled to be arraigned in the Arizona case at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Almansoori, 26, was indicted Feb. 27 by a grand jury in Maricopa County in the Feb. 17 and 18 stabbing attacks of two women in the Phoenix area. He faces two counts each of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and attempted sexual assault, as well as one count each of attempted armed robbery and theft of means of transportation.

Almansoori is suspected of stabbing an 18-year-old woman at least three times in the neck in a McDonald’s restaurant bathroom in the suburban community of Surprise on Feb. 18 before he was arrested later that day. Phoenix police have named Almansoori a suspect in an attack a day earlier on a woman who was stabbed in her car in that city.

The women in both attacks survived, but New York police say Almansoori is a suspect in the killing of a woman in that city. The body of Denisse Oleas-Arancibia was found by staff on the floor of a hotel room. Officers said her death was determined to have been caused by blunt force trauma to the head, and a broken clothes iron was found nearby.

The Arizona case has sparked a political feud between Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, a Republican, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat.

Mitchell has balked at sending Almansoori back to New York for prosecution before he is tried in Arizona in the stabbing attacks and implied that Bragg is lax on crime.

Some of Bragg’s critics have distorted his record for bringing charges against former President Donald Trump. He has also faced backlash for his office’s decision not to prosecute certain low-level offenses.

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The man sought in New York in the fatal bludgeoning at a hotel won’t waive extradition from Arizona