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Famalaro’s Lawyer Likely to Drop Extradition Fight

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Arizona attorney for murder suspect John J. Famalaro said Monday that he will likely drop a challenge to extradition proceedings, paving the way for the 37-year-old house painter’s transfer to Orange County to be tried in the slaying of Denise Huber of Newport Beach.

Attorney Thomas K. Kelly said the decision to drop the challenge would likely come by Aug. 29, the date when the issue is scheduled to be argued in a Prescott, Ariz., courtroom.

“I think this would make it much easier for the state to move the case to California,” Kelly said. “We have no objection to this case being tried in California.”

The development comes as California authorities moved forward with proceedings that would force Famalaro’s transfer to Orange County. On Friday, Gov. Pete Wilson’s office began a review of the extradition papers signed by Newport Beach Municipal Judge Margaret R. Anderson.

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Wilson spokesman Kevin Herglotz said the extradition documents were still being reviewed Monday.

Famalaro was arrested last month when Arizona authorities found Huber’s preserved body inside a freezer in the driveway of his Prescott Country Club home.

The painter is accused of kidnaping and murdering Huber and then carting around her nude, handcuffed body inside the freezer.

Huber, a UC Irvine graduate, vanished June 3, 1991, after her tire blew out on the Corona del Mar Freeway as she headed home from a rock concert in Inglewood.

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Her parents and police launched a nationwide search, but Huber’s whereabouts remained a mystery until Arizona law officers found her body inside a freezer locked in the back of stolen rental truck parked in Famalaro’s driveway.

Huber died from nearly a dozen blows to the head, according to an autopsy.


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