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Jury indicts Registe in '05 killing

Michael Jason Registe, the recently captured fugitive wanted for the July 20, 2007, slayings of Randy Newton Jr. and Bryan Kilgore, was indicted Tuesday on charges related to a 2005 shooting.

Authorities claim that Registe, 25, shot a man on Nov. 23, 2005, in the head, leg and arm. He also faces drug possession charges.

On Tuesday, a Muscogee County grand jury indicted Registe --- who in July was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list --- on six charges stemming from the 2005 incident.

Registe, who was captured Aug. 27 on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, was identified as a suspect in the deaths of Newton, 21, and Kilgore, 20, shortly after they were found in the parking lot of Cross Creek Apartments on Steam Mill Road. The men had execution-style gunshot wounds to the head. Newton died at the scene, and Kilgore died the following morning. The motive, Police Chief Ricky Boren said, was robbery.

District Attorney Gray Conger said warrants for Registe's arrest were obtained shortly after the 2005 incident, though the former Spencer High School track athlete was never caught.

"He's been a fugitive since that time," Conger said.

The prosecutor said police at the time believed Registe had fled to the U.S. Virgin Islands --- the same region where authorities said he'd initially gone after Newton and Kilgore's deaths.


Since Registe's arrest, Conger has been preparing affidavits for the U.S. Department of Justice to help extradite him back to Columbus. He has eight weeks to get the documents to Washington, though the prosecutor said he intends to send them this week.

"We've already sent a draft up to Washington," Conger said. "We'll send another (Wednesday). The death penalty waiver is a big part of it."

The Netherlands, which controls the portion of St. Maarten on which Registe was captured, requires that those it extradites not receive the death penalty if convicted.

Defense attorney Stephen Hyles said the Dutch are holding Registe on an Interpol warrant. Their government is honoring a federal warrant issued by the United States, though they have the right to ensure Registe --- or anyone they hold for another country --- has the same rights someone would have under Dutch law.

Hyles said all European Union countries require that a nation they extradite someone to takes the death penalty off the table.