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News in Brief: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Los Angeles

Nicaragua Prosecutes Man on U.S. Murder Charge

July 09, 1998

In what was hailed as an unprecedented action, a Nicaraguan national is being prosecuted in his native country for a crime committed in the United States, police said.

Edgar Francisco Sevilla returned to Nicaragua in November 1996 to elude Los Angeles authorities after he beat his wife, Yasmilda, said Det. Federico Sicard, of the LAPD's foreign prosecution unit.

When she was brought to the hospital unconscious, doctors discovered a brain tumor that had begun to bleed as a result of the beating. Despite an operation to remove the tumor, Yasmilda lapsed into a coma and died in January 1997, Sicard said.

Sevilla's warrant for spousal abuse was changed to murder and the district attorney's office contacted the Nicaraguan government.

According to a 1905 treaty between the two countries, a citizen from Nicaragua who commits a crime in the United States cannot be extradited but must be prosecuted in his homeland.

"It was not until this year that the agreement was tested," Sicard said.

The Nicaraguan Supreme Court issued a warrant for Sevilla's arrest on murder charges and he was taken into custody June 6.

At his preliminary hearing in Managua last week, two LAPD detectives and a Los Angeles County coroner testified for the prosecution, Sicard said.

A jury trial has been scheduled for September, he said.

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