US court grants extradition for fugitive wanted in Tonga

RNZ reports the federal court in Honolulu has allowed the extradition of an American man wanted for the murder of his wife in Tonga.

Dean Jay Fletcher escaped from Tongan police in September and sailed to American Samoa where he was arrested and charged for entering the US territory illegally.

The US Department of Justice had requested his extradition after he was turned over to US Marshal Service agents in Pago Pago and taken to Honolulu.

US Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield concluded that Mr Fletcher is extraditable for each offence for which extradition was requested.

The Tongan government has charged Mr Fletcher with murder, manslaughter, and inflicting grievous bodily harm on his wife Patricia Linne Kearney.

Under federal government law, the US Secretary of State makes the final decision to extradite Fletcher, who remains in the custody of the US Marshal Service in Honolulu.


Photo: Tauva Esera Dean Jay Fletcher taking a nap after arriving from Tonga in Pago Pago