Extradition Hearing Due in Utah for Teen in Mesquite Stabbings

Extradition Hearing Due in Utah for Teen in Mesquite Stabbings

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- An extradition hearing could take place this week in Utah for a teenager who police say attacked two young girls with a butcher knife in retaliation for a drug deal rip-off at a Mesquite casino.

Juab County Attorney Jared Eldridge said Tuesday that the hearing was tentatively set in Juab, where 19-year-old Beau Santino Maestas and his 16-year-old sister, Monique Maestas, have been held since the Jan. 22 attack.

Eldridge said Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn's warrant had been approved by Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, and a Juab County judge was prepared to rule whether Maestas should be turned over to Clark County authorities for prosecution.

But Maestas' lawyer, Randy Kester of Springville, Utah, had not agreed to a hearing time, Eldridge said. Kester did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

Maestas and his sister, from Salt Lake City, face charges including murder and attempted murder in Nevada, where prosecutors have said they could face the death penalty.

Monique Maestas has waived extradition but remains in the Juab County lockup.

Police say Beau Maestas told them he and his sister attacked the two girls in retaliation for a drug-deal rip-off involving their mother, Tamara Bergeron, and her boyfriend, Bobby Schmidt.

If Maestas and his lawyer do not challenge the extradition warrant, Nevada state police Lt. Matt Alberto said both teens will be turned over to Mesquite police on Thursday for the 51/2-hour trip to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas. Arraignment would follow in Mesquite.

Meanwhile, the 3-year-old slain in the attack outside the CasaBlanca hotel-casino is slated to be buried Saturday in California, after two postponed funerals and three weeks of custody battles between her divorced parents.

Services for Kristyanna Cowan were scheduled at Weaver Mortuary in Beaumont, Calif., after a Las Vegas judge issued an order settling issues including whether she should be cremated and what dress she would wear.

"We tried to work it out and we weren't able to," William Errico, attorney for the girl's father, David Cowan, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We had to seek the judge's order."

Kristyanna died and her 10-year-old sister, Brittney Bergeron, was paralyzed in the attack after being left alone in a trailer while their mother and her boyfriend gambled in a nearby casino.

Cowan blocked a first scheduled funeral on Jan. 28, because Bergeron wanted to cremate the body in Las Vegas and wear the girl's ashes in a locket around her neck. Cowan wanted the girl buried in her hometown of Banning, Calif., where both parents have family.

The two sides appeared to have worked out a deal last week, and a Clark County district judge ordered that Kristyanna be buried in Banning. Tamara Bergeron was to get a lock of Kristyanna's hair for the locket.

But the funeral was postponed again on Saturday, after Errico said Bergeron reneged on her part of the deal.

Errico told the Review-Journal that Cowan has agreed to let Bergeron hold her own services in California before Kristyanna is buried.

Clark County child welfare authorities have been awarded legal custody of Brittney, who is recovering at a southern Nevada rehabilitation center.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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