Extradition fight seen in police killing

Hearing is today for brothers charged in officer's death

`Letting things cool down'

Transfer to Maryland from Philadelphia faces two-week delay

March 06, 2000|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Two brothers charged in the killing of Baltimore County police Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero are scheduled to fight extradition at a court hearing today in Philadelphia, a move expected to delay their return to Maryland for at least two weeks.

Richard Antonio Moore, 29, and Wesley John Moore, 24, both of Baltimore are expected to formally oppose extradition before Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper.

They are charged, with Troy White, 25, and Donald Antonio White, 19, also of Baltimore, with first-degree murder in Prothero's killing. The father of five was shot Feb. 7 as he chased four suspects from J. Brown Jewelers in Pikesville after a daylight robbery. Prothero worked as a security guard at the store.

The Whites, who are not related, were arrested separately a few days after the killing and are being held without bail in the Baltimore County Detention Center.

The Moore brothers were arrested about two weeks after the killing at their great-uncle's rowhouse in North Philadelphia. They are being held without bail in Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers said the Moores decided to fight extradition after talking with their attorneys shortly after they were arrested Feb. 19.

David B. Mischak, the Philadelphia lawyer appointed to represent Wesley Moore, said his client might have decided to fight extradition because the case has received extensive media attention.

"Given the publicity, there could be an advantage to just letting things cool down a bit," Mischak said.

He said the defendants probably would not be taken into court for today's hearing.

"There's no reason for them to be there," he said.

The decision to fight extradition means that Baltimore County prosecutors must obtain a warrant through Gov. Parris N. Glendening's office establishing the Moores' identities for a Philadelphia court.

Daniel McGravey, an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, is expected to ask the judge this morning to continue the matter for two weeks so that the governor's warrant can be signed and forwarded to Pennsylvania authorities.

The extradition process requires Glendening to formally request that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge approve the defendants' transfer, said S. Ann Brobst, Baltimore County assistant state's attorney.

She said that legal papers required to start the process were sent to Glendening's office last week but that he could not sign them until the Moores formally opposed extradition.

Michelle Byrnie, a Glendening spokeswoman, said Glendening will sign the papers this week.

The documents will be sent from Glendening's office by overnight mail to Ridge's office, Brobst said.

The papers should be available to Philadelphia prosecutors for a second hearing, tentatively scheduled for the week of March 20, according to prosecutors.

Brobst said the extradition process is not expected to pose major roadblocks in prosecuting the Moores.

Legal deadlines requiring that a defendant be tried within 180 days of arraignment do not apply until the Moores are returned to Maryland, legal experts say.

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