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Fugitive Faces Trial in Hit-Run Death After 3-Continent Hunt

July 31, 1986

A Palm Springs man who led investigators on a two-year chase across three continents before he was captured will stand trial in the hit-and-run death of a La Canada Flintridge teen-ager, a Palm Springs municipal judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Arthur S. Block ordered Thomas Anthony Williamson, 35, to stand trial on three felony charges--vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run driving and drunk driving that caused a death.

Williamson is accused of killing Kent Andrew States, 15, by running him down early on May 27, 1984.

Williamson was arrested three hours after the incident, but charges against him were dismissed when key witnesses could not be located.

When the case was refiled, Williamson fled to Great Britain. He later moved to Uganda, then Kenya, where he was extradited this June with help from the State Department; Interpol, the international police agency, and members of the Riverside County district attorney's office.

Williamson faces a maximum sentence of about 14 years, said his attorney, Deputy Public Defender John Wells. He is being held at Indio County Jail on $300,000 bail.

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