Arizona Prosecutors Refuse Extradition of SoHo Hotel Murder Suspect Due to Contempt for Manhattan DA

Prosecutors in Arizona said they will not agree to extradite the guy accused of murdering a lady in SoHo because they do not trust Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Raad Almansoori is being held in Arizona after allegedly stabbing two women.

The Manhattan District Attorney wants to bring him to New York to face charges in the SoHo murder. Still, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell wants him to stay in Arizona for the time being.

“I just want to say that I know there’s been discussion about New York wanting to extradite this individual. And I’m sure that this is not aimed at the New York Police Department at all, I know they did a hard job, and they did a good job. But we will not be agreeing to extradition. I’ve instructed my extradition attorneys not to agree to that. We’re going to keep him here. These are mandatory prison sentences. And having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by the Manhattan DA there, Alvin Bragg, I think it’s safer to keep him here and keep him in custody so that he can not be out doing this to individuals either in our state, county or anywhere in the United States,” Mitchell said.

Emily Tuttle, a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney, described Mitchell’s comments as “deeply disturbing” and accused her of “playing political games in a murder investigation.”

“In Manhattan, we are serious about New Yorkers’ safety, which is why murders are down 24% and shootings are down 38% since D.A. Bragg took office. New York’s murder rate is less than half that of Phoenix, Arizona, because of the hard work of the NYPD and all of our law enforcement partners,” Tuttle added. “It is a slap in the face to them and to the victim in our case to refuse to allow us to seek justice and full accountability for a New Yorker’s death.”

Criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor David Schwartz told CBS New York, “I have never heard of a state not granting the extradition from another state.”

Arizona Prosecutors Refuse Extradition of SoHo Hotel Murder Suspect Due to Contempt for Manhattan DA

He described Mitchell’s comments as unconstitutional and politically motivated.

“To hold someone because you think that the laws in the other state are not going to protect the people based on bail, it is such a ridiculous argument,” he went on to say.

He went on to say, “They are more than qualified to try this case of a criminal defendant that is undoubtedly going to be held without bail on remand status.”

Mitchell made the remarks at a news conference where police claimed Almansoori intended to harm additional people.

“This arrest, without a doubt, as heinous as everything he’s done so far, stopped someone from continuing that path of destruction,” Surprise, Ariz. Police Chief Benny Piña stated.

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Police in Arizona said Almansoori admitted to killing someone in New York earlier this month. The NYPD believes Almansoori used an iron to assassinate Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, 38, at a SoHo hotel.

Investigators also said he sexually assaulted a lady in Florida in April. Leah Palian claimed that the woman was with her and told the scary story during a call to a CBS affiliate station.

“This man had the tightest grip on my neck, right under my chin, cut off the airway immediately. Knew was he was doing,” Palian claimed.

Palian, who said she worked with Almansoori at an Orlando restaurant, claimed he fled in her car after she contacted 911. He was subsequently arrested and charged.

“I literally, verbatim told them, if you let him walk with a slap on the wrist, he’s going to turn into a serial killer,” Palian was quoted as saying.

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According to records, Almansoori was accused in Florida with Grand Theft Auto, but allegations of sexual battery and aggravated assault were dismissed.

“The state of Florida has failed me so badly,” Palian added.

Prosecutors in Orange County, Flotifs, told CBS New York that there was insufficient evidence to prove sexual violence and aggravated assault charges. He posted bail there in September. Orange County prosecutors’ statement reads in part:

“Our office found sufficient evidence to file a Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle charge. Almansoori was arrested and granted a bond of $2,500 for that third-degree felony, which is customary for the type of charge and consistent with Florida law which mandates a bond be set in most cases. Almansoori was released from jail after posting bail in September 2023. His next scheduled court appearance is a pre-trial conference on March 13. Our office has filed a motion to revoke Almansoori’s bond based on new information we have received.”

“We are disheartened to hear about the tragic events in New York and Arizona and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and all the communities impacted. We also care deeply about the victims in our communities and do everything possible to support them and build strong cases to secure convictions. We acknowledge the hurt and pain that is felt when we are legally unable to move forward with prosecuting a case.”

Mitchell stated later Wednesday that New York can apply for extradition, but she prefers to proceed first. In an email to CBS New York’s Timothy McNicholas, Oleas-Aranciba’s sister described her as a dedicated, intelligent, and bright woman.

“She was always making everyone laugh and had such a huge heart. She did not deserve to be to be murdered. My family is completely heartbroken,” her relatives said in a statement.

The NYPD is working with the FBI to determine whether Almansoori is linked to any other crimes. 

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