Registe headed to extradition hearing

Michael Jason Registe, the Columbus man police say killed two Hardaway High School graduates in July 2007, is headed to an extradition hearing on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. A prosecutor in the case, though, said he doesn't foresee any problems with returning Registe to Georgia.

Rienk Mud, a Netherlands Antilles prosecutor, said his government has received the paperwork necessary to extradite Registe from the United States. That paperwork, composed of police affidavits and legal assurances the death penalty won't be sought for Registe, were prepared under the assumption that Registe wouldn't waive extradition.

"He (Registe) has chosen not to go back to the states voluntarily," Mud said. "What we call, 'the short way.' "

Because of that choice, the Netherlands Antilles' high court will decide the extradition issue and their governor will have the final say. Mud, however, said he didn't expect any problems with the issue because District Attorney Gray Conger waived the death penalty.

Conger has said that waiver was a large part of the documentation he sent to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Dutch authorities required death be taken off the table as a potential punishment for Registe as part of the deal in his extradition.