Accused Sex Tourist Thomas White Will Continue Resisting Extradition
|Danny Garcia says he was recruited to find boys willing to testify against Thomas White|
"I've advised him he's not going to get a fair trial here," said Stuart Hanlon, White's San Francisco attorney. White "
Former San Francisco attorney Replogle was convicted Monday of helping murder Palm Springs retiree Clifford Lambert. A jury considered allegations that he was part of a confidence scheme purportedly led by alleged grifters Garcia and and his friend Kaushal Niroula, both of whom are awaiting trial on murder charges.
News accounts of proceedings in Riverside County say Garcia, Niroula, Replogle, and other co-conspirators plotted to extract a settlement from Lambert, based on an allegation that the 74-year-old Palm Springs man had sexually assaulted Niroula. The scheme allegedly escalated into one in which the plotters attempted to fraudulently sell Lambert's house, then stabbed him to death to conceal the crime. Riverside County prosecutors have now obtained two guilty pleas and two guilty verdicts in connection with Lambert's death, despite the fact no body has been discovered.
In an interview, Garcia told us that Lambert is actually hiding somewhere in Mexico, and that there was no murder.
Though Replogle's guilty verdict would seem to potentially discredit at least part of the case against White, Hanlon said he's not ready to invite his client to San Francisco to face charges. White has so far resisted extradition to the U.S. under the so-called doctrine of double criminality, which holds that for an accused criminal to be subject to extradition, he must have done something recognized as a crime in both countries. U.S. charges against White were filed under a federal sex-tourism law that makes it illegal to travel abroad intending to have sex with children. Mexico's lack of such a law has been the basis of White's battle to remain in Mexico -- a battle Hanlon says doesn't end with Replogle's conviction. There mere fact that U.S. prosecutors might have been aided by Replogle in their search for evidence shows lack of good faith, Hanlon said.
In response to an earlier request for information about White's case, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman cited the agency's policy of not commenting on pending cases.
"They use these people, people who are found to be scoundrels and murderers," Hanlon said. "I've been doing this a long time, and I don't feel he'll get a fair trial here."
Notwithstanding, Hanlon said he's seeking some sort of negotiated resolution with federal prosecutors.
"It doesn't have anything to do with his guilt or innocence: White is 77 years old. He'd like to finish his days with his family here," Hanlon said. "If there were a reasonable way to resolve it, we would resolve it."
Asked if White was seeking some sort of plea deal, Hanlon would only say: "We would entertain a resolution."
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