30 Nov 2016

Extradition hearing set for American wanted in Tonga

12:19 pm on 30 November 2016

A Honolulu judge has set a hearing date in January for the extradition of Dean Jay Fletcher who is wanted in Tonga for the murder of his wife.

Dean Jay Fletcher

Dean Jay Fletcher on board his boat in American Samoa Photo: Tauva Esera

Mr Fletcher appeared at the federal court in Honolulu for his detention hearing and made a request to continue the hearing at the end of the week.

No explanation was given for the request by Mr Fletcher, who the US government is seeking to detain without bail.

A status hearing is set for December 19, with a detention hearing scheduled for January 10.

Federal prosecutor Larry Butrick has called for Mr Fletcher to be detained pending the resolution of extradition proceedings.

Mr Fletcher is accused of the brutal murder of his wife, by bludgeoning her to death in his boat in view of several witnesses.

Mr Butrick says this makes Mr Fletcher a danger to the community.

He also says Mr Fletcher has tried to avoid responsibility for his alleged crimes, including attempting to destroy evidence by disposing of a bloody sheet in a Tongan harbor, and misrepresenting the circumstances of his wife's death.

The lawyer points out Fletcher is also a flight risk, having escaped custody twice.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs