RIVERSIDE — Escaped killer Claude Dallas waived his right to an extradition proceeding in Riverside Municipal Court Tuesday and could be returned to Idaho before the end of the week, authorities said.
"I expect you'll be gone shortly back to Idaho," Municipal Court Commissioner Norman Turner told Dallas, who appeared fatigued as he sat in the heavily guarded courtroom in leg and arm shackles.
Flanked by his court-appointed attorney, San Bernardino County Deputy Public Defender Robert Hurley, Dallas was all but expressionless throughout the 15-minute hearing, which was held in a Riverside Superior Court courtroom borrowed for security reasons. Only once did he acknowledge the presence of news reporters and photographers with a wide grin.
Dallas, 37, a self-described "mountain man," was found guilty of manslaughter in the 1981 slayings of two Idaho game wardens and sentenced to 30 years in the Idaho State Penitentiary. Last March 30, he escaped and became the subject of a widespread search that ended Sunday afternoon when he was captured by FBI agents at a convenience store in Riverside.
Dallas, who had vowed never to be taken alive and had been on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list for months, is being held without bail in Riverside County Jail.
"We'll be moving within the next 24 hours to have agents from the sheriff's office here pick him up and bring him back," said Greg Bower, Ada County Prosecutor in Boise, Ida., in a telephone interview.
Added Prison Term
"We are going to fly him back, most likely in a chartered aircraft," added Ada County Undersheriff Dee Pfieffer. "I am not prepared to say exactly when that will be, for security reasons."
Pfieffer said Dallas will be kept in the Ada County Jail until his arraignment on the escape charge, which could be held as early as Monday. If he is convicted on the charge, Dallas faces an additional five years in prison, Pfieffer said.
After the arraignment, Dallas will be returned to the Idaho State Penitentiary, where he will be held in "administrative segregation" from the rest of the prison population, Pfieffer said.
As expected, an additional federal charge of unlawful flight was dropped by federal authorities.
"An unlawful flight federal warrant is usually dismissed in this sort of situation," said FBI spokesman Fred Reagan. "We helped locate this guy, arrested him and booked him. . . . Now, we will be fading (from the case) very shortly."
Reagan added that he is "not disappointed" with a U.S. attorney's office decision not to prosecute two men who were arrested Sunday on suspicion of harboring Dallas before his capture. "The harboring statute is extremely difficult to prosecute," Reagan said.
Nonetheless, the Riverside County district attorney's office on Tuesday discussed with FBI authorities the possibility of charging the men, Dan McCurry Martinez, 38, of Riverside, and Greg Davis, 35, of Perris, under a state statute.
"They (the FBI) indicated to me that they hadn't completed the case and were still looking into some things," said Jay Hanks, Riverside County assistant district attorney. "If they run across any illegal activity in our jurisdiction, they said they will call me."
At a press conference Monday, Richard Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office, said Dallas had traveled to Riverside to see Martinez.
Davis could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Martinez, a close friend of Dallas, declined comment on the case.