Originally created 07/17/02

LeBlanc refuses extradition

Aaron LeBlanc told a Columbia County judge Tuesday he did not want to return to North Carolina to face rape charges.

Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said Mr. LeBlanc refused extradition less than three hours after arriving from Gaston County, N.C.

The refusal came as no surprise to Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Danny Craig, who said Mr. LeBlanc had indicated he would refuse extradition before leaving Gaston County.

Mr. Craig said Mr. LeBlanc will remain in Columbia County while governors' staffs in North Carolina and Georgia complete the paperwork for a formal extradition hearing.

Once the paperwork arrives, Mr. LeBlanc will be given the opportunity to waive extradition or request a hearing, Mr. Craig said. He said he hopes to have the hearing within 24 to 48 hours.

"I don't anticipate it taking longer than that to process those warrants," he said.

In March, a month after he was acquitted in three Richmond County rape cases, Mr. LeBlanc was arrested in North Carolina and released on $100,000 bond.

He moved to his mother's home in Columbia County, but two days later, Mr. LeBlanc's bond was revoked on a technicality. Police took him back to North Carolina, where he was indicted on two additional charges related to a March 18 sexual assault.

In order to proceed with those charges, though, a North Carolina judge ruled, prosecutors had to allow for a proper extradition process, which meant Mr. LeBlanc had to return to Georgia.

He also was charged last week with terroristic threats in Richmond County, stemming from a June 2000 letter in which he wrote about his desire to kill the three Georgia women who had accused him of rape.

Reach Louie Villalobos at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 109, or Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226.


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