Registe extradition hearing postponed

This morning's extradition hearing in St. Maarten for Michael Jason Registe was postponed until December.

Registe's attorney, Rumco Stomp, said he asked the high court for more time to prepare for the hearing, which was scheduled for 9 a.m. today, because he didn't receive his client's file from prosecutors until Oct. 23.

"We just didn't have enough time to fully prepare this case," Stomp said. "The higher court agreed with us."

The new hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11 at 1:30 p.m., Stomp said.

During the December proceedings, a court will determine if Registe is the person wanted for the deaths of Randy Newton Jr., 21, and Bryan Kilgore, 20, and if the charges against him warrant extradition.

Registe, 25, is accused of the July 20, 2007, execution-style shooting deaths of the two Hardaway High School graduates. Both men were found in the parking lot of Cross Creek Apartments on Steam Mill Road.

The former Spencer High School athlete was believed to have fled to the Caribbean. Authorities captured him Aug. 27 on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten about a month after he was put on the FBI's ten most wanted list.

Should the court recommend to the governor of the Netherlands Antilles that Registe be extradited back to Columbus, Stomp said he will appeal to the Supreme Court because he doesn't think his client will get a fair trial in the U.S.

"The question is whether he can get a fair trial," Stomp said. "We are of the opinion that he could not get a fair trial in Georgia or in the united states, but Georgia in particular. He's been all over the news. It's going to be very difficult for a jury to be objective to this particular case."

Stomp said he spoke to Registe this morning and his client is doing Ok.

"I'm in regular contact with the gentleman," Stomp said. "He's doing well. Of course it's tough. It's certainly not a holiday. They've got shelter and they've got food."