Crime

Marine set to be extradited

Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, 22, was scheduled to be extradited from Mexico today and processed in a Texas court. Details of his arrival weren't disclosed because of safety concerns, FBI spokeswoman Amy Thoreson said.

Laurean was charged with first-degree murder after the charred remains of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20, were found buried in his backyard in Jacksonville in January 2008. Lauterbach, of Vandalia, Ohio, had been eight months pregnant.

Laurean and his wife and young daughter lived in the house at the time.

Laurean and Lauterbach worked together at Camp Lejeune. She had accused him of rape, although tests showed he wasn't the father of her unborn child.

Laurean, arrested in Mexico last April, has dual citizenship.

Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said Laurean would be processed in state court in Houston. He could waive extradition to North Carolina or fight it. If he fights, Gov. Beverly Perdue would have to ask that Texas return him.

Defense lawyer Dick McNeil of Jacksonville said he expects his client to plead not guilty, but he has no access to Laurean while U.S. and Mexican authorities work out the extradition.

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