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Extradition ordered for man accused of slaying in Oregon

Extradition ordered for man accused of slaying in Oregon

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SANTA FE, N. M. (AP) -- A man has been ordered extradited from New Mexico to Oregon, where he is accused of raping and killing a college student.

State District Judge Michael Vigil on Friday ordered Joel Patrick Courtney, 41, extradited "forthwith," Chief Deputy District Attorney Linda Lonsdale said.

Courtney -- charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping and rape in Oregon -- had fought extradition.

He was sentenced in Albuquerque last Dec. 11 to 18 years in prison in a separate rape and abduction case in that city.

Courtney has been held in the Penitentiary of New Mexico near Santa Fe, Lonsdale said.

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed an extradition order asking New Mexico to return Courtney. Gov. Bill Richardson signed an agreement in January to return Courtney.

Brooke Wilberger, 19, a Brigham Young University student, was cleaning lamp poles on May 24, 2004, outside an apartment complex her sister managed in Corvallis, Ore., when she vanished, leaving behind her flip-flops and a pail of soapy water.

Her body has not been found despite an extensive search by police and volunteers, and she is presumed dead.

Investigators and prosecutors have revealed little of the evidence they believe ties Courtney to Wilberger's presumed death.

Prosecutors in Oregon have said they would seek the death penalty in the case.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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