- Courts and Crime
Secretary of state has to make final decision on whether to surrender Rodney Nichols to Canada
A federal court judge in Florida has ordered that Rodney Nichols, accused of murdering Jewell Parchman Langford (new window) in a case that went unsolved for decades, be extradited from the U.S. to Canada to face his charges in court.
Nichols, 81, has been living under house arrest in Hollywood, Fla., since Aug. 18, when he was released from custody on a $250,000 personal surety bond with conditions.
He had been charged with murder by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) last fall in the death of Langford, a woman from Tennessee who disappeared in Montreal in 1975.
Her body was found face down in the Nation River near Casselman, Ont., between Montreal and Ottawa, about a month after her disappearance. But for decades, she was known only by the moniker
Nation River Lady as authorities struggled to identify her.
Langford was only recently identified (new window) with the help of forensic genealogy.
Final decision on surrender not yet made
According to a U.S. District Court document filed in the Southern District of Florida, Magistrate Judge Jared Strauss certified Canada's extradition request on Monday.
Strauss ruled there is
probable cause to believe Nichols committed the offence, and that the evidence presented is sufficient to establish that his alleged conduct is punishable by imprisonment in the U.S. and Canada.
The allegations against Nichols have not been tested in court.
It is now up to the U.S. secretary of state to make the final decision on whether to surrender Nichols to Canada.
If the surrender is granted, Nichols must turn himself in to the U.S. Marshal.
CBC News with files from Daniel Leblanc and Denis Babin