San Diego

A Clairemont man waived his right to an extradition hearing Tuesday and will be taken to Nevada to face charges of murdering a 7-year-old boy who strayed from a video arcade inside a casino.

San Diego Municipal Judge Linda Boelhauf Quinn refused to grant bail for Howard Lee Haupt, 37, who will be taken by authorities this week to Las Vegas, where he faces charges of kidnaping and murder in the slaying of Alexander Harris of Mountain View, Calif.

The youngster disappeared Oct. 27, 1987, from the arcade area of Whiskey Pete's Casino, located just east of the California-Nevada state line on Interstate 15. His body was discovered Dec. 30 under a nearby trailer.

"Mr. Haupt wishes to return to Nevada as soon as possible so he can exonerate himself of these charges, therefore we are prepared to waive extradition," defense attorney Thomas Warwick told Quinn.

Haupt, employed as a computer technician by the San Diego Data Processing Corp., the agency that provides computer and data processing services to the City of San Diego, was arrested Friday at his home by San Diego police after a federal judge in Nevada issued a warrant for his arrest for leaving the state to avoid prosecution.

The arrest was based on statements made by witnesses who allegedly saw the youngster leave the arcade with a man described as Haupt. The man drove a white pickup truck that authorities believe is the one impounded from Haupt's driveway during his arrest.

Warwick asked Quinn to set a bail amount, saying the defendant cooperated with FBI requests and didn't leave the San Diego area even after he knew he was being investigated in connection with the killing.

The judge agreed with Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert Hammes, however, who argued that Haupt faces life imprisonment or the death penalty for charged crimes and can be held without bail pending another review. Such a review would have to be scheduled after Haupt arrives in Nevada.

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