July 13, 2001
France Sets Extradition of Culprit in U.S. Killing, Then Delays It
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHAMPAGNE-MOUTON, France, July 12 A fugitive convicted of killing his
girlfriend in Philadelphia nearly a quarter-century ago was ordered
extradited to the United States today, though France quickly delayed the move.
Shortly after hearing of the extradition order by the Council of State,
France's highest administrative body, the fugitive, Ira Einhorn slit his
throat, his lawyer said, but then decided he wanted to live.
The wound was not described as serious, and as Mr. Einhorn, a 61- year-old
former antiwar advocate, was being treated in a hospital, France agreed to
delay his extradition for a week at the request of the European Court of
Mr. Einhorn's lawyer, Dominique Tricaud, said his client should be released
from the hospital within two days.
A French television crew invited to Mr. Einhorn's home here in southwestern
France found him sitting in the kitchen, blood soaking his shirt, an open
wound at the base of his neck. A doctor bandaged the wound only after Mr.
Einhorn had given his interview, in which he railed against Prime Minister
Lionel Jospin for his predicament. Mr. Jospin approved the extradition last
July and refused to reconsider the order in October.
"He created this. He is responsible," Mr. Einhorn said, pointing to his
wound. "He is sending me back to America, where I will stay for the rest of
my life in prison, without mercy."
Mr. Einhorn then climbed into an ambulance unassisted.
Another of his lawyers, Dominique Delthil, insisted that Mr. Einhorn was
not merely trying to stave off extradition when he cut himself. "I think he
had really decided to end his life, but at the last minute he changed his
mind," Mr. Delthil said. "It wasn't just an act."
Mr. Einhorn fled the United States in 1981, soon before he was to stand
trial in the 1977 bludgeoning death of his girlfriend, Holly Maddux of
Tyler, Tex. Her corpse was found stuffed in a trunk inside a closet of the
Philadelphia apartment she shared with Mr. Einhorn.
Mr. Einhorn has denied killing Ms. Maddux, saying the charges stemmed from
a government conspiracy against him.
The victim's sister, Mary Maddux, reacted with relief to today's ruling.
"It's been 24 years," she said. "Hopefully this will be drawing 24 years of
a chase to a close, at least to get Ira back here."
The European court asked the French government to postpone the extradition
for a week so it could look into the case. It also asked for information
about Mr. Einhorn's health.
The case has taken many legal turns over the years. In 1993, Mr. Einhorn
was sentenced in absentia to life in prison. The United States made its
initial request for extradition in 1997, after police tracked him to
France does not extradite foreign nationals based on trials in absentia. It
also refuses to extradite people to countries where they could face the
But a 1998 Pennsylvania law provided for a retrial, and United States
officials promised that Mr. Einhorn would not be eligible for the death
penalty because capital punishment was not legal in that state at the time
of the crime.
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