Arizona Prosecutor Refuses to Extradite Murder Suspect to NY

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell gets in a dig at Manhattan counterpart Alvin Bragg
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2024 10:15 AM CST
Arizona Prosecutor Refuses to Extradite Murder Suspect to NY
Raad Almansoori   (Surprise Police Department)

Extraditing a murder suspect from one state to another is usually pretty standard. But in a strange case marred by politics, a district attorney in Arizona is refusing to cooperate with Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg as he aims to have a murder suspect moved to New York to face charges of having bludgeoned a woman to death with an iron. "Having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by the Manhattan DA there, Alvin Bragg, I think it's safer to keep him here and keep him in custody, so that he cannot be out doing this to individuals either in our state, county, or anywhere in the United States," Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, a Republican, told reporters Wednesday, per the New York Times. Bragg, it should be noted, is an enemy of former President Donald Trump.

He's become a frequent target of Republicans while prosecuting Trump on charges of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments. A rep for Bragg said Mitchell was "playing political games in a murder investigation." The rep, Emily Tuttle, stressed murders are down 24% under Bragg and New York's homicide rate is "less than half that of Phoenix." She called it "a slap in the face to [the NYPD] and to the victim in our case to refuse to allow us to seek justice and full accountability for a New Yorker's death." Raad Almansoori, 26, is accused of bludgeoning 38-year-old Denisse Oleas-Arancibia to death in the SoHo 54 Hotel on Feb. 7 or Feb. 8, per ABC News. New York police say Almansoori then flew to Arizona, where he allegedly stabbed two women who survived.

Almansoori allegedly stabbed a woman during a carjacking in Phoenix days before stabbing a second woman at a McDonald's in Surprise. Held without bond in Maricopa County since his arrest on Sunday, he faces two counts each of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and attempted sexual assault, and one count of theft of means of transportation, per the AP. Though Bragg has faced criticism from Republicans for not prosecuting suspects aggressively enough and releasing some suspects on bail, there was no sign he intended to release Almansoori, per the Times. Officials later tried to soften Mitchell's comments, the outlet notes. One rep claimed Almansoori couldn't be extradited until he answered to the charges in Arizona, while another claimed Bragg hadn't formally requested extradition. (More extradition stories.)

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