Local News

Sheriff: Laurean could return to N.C. next week

Posted September 11, 2008

— A judge in Mexico has ruled that a Camp Lejeune Marine charged with killing a pregnant comrade will be extradited to North Carolina as early as next week, the Onslow County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

Cpl. Cesar Laurean faces first-degree murder in the December death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, whose charred remains were found in a shallow grave behind Laurean's Jacksonville home in January. She was seven months' pregnant at the time of her death.

Laurean fled Jacksonville on Jan. 11, hours before Lauterbach's body was found, and left behind a note in which he claimed she had committed suicide and that he had buried her out of fear.

An autopsy later determined that Lauterbach had been beaten to death, and authorities said they found traces of blood inside Laurean's home.

Laurean was arrested in April in Tacambaro Michoacan, a small town in western Mexico, after an international manhunt. Federal authorities will transport Laurean to the Onslow County Jail.

"I think the statement by the sheriff's office that Laurean will be home in a week is a little premature," his attorney, Dick McNeil, said Thursday afternoon. "The defendant has a 15-day window to make a response or appeal the judge's ruling."

However, McNeil, who said he spoke with Laurean Wednesday evening, could not say for certain whether his client will appeal or fight extradition.

Lauterbach had accused Laurean of raping her a year ago. Military authorities could never corroborate her allegations, but they planned to pursue hearings that could have led to charges against Laurean.

McNeil said he, Laurean and Laurean's attorney in Mexico still question what, if any, role the military will play in the case. They want to know if the Marine Corps is planning a trial before making any final decisions.

For decades, Mexico has resisted extraditing people to the U.S. if they could face capital punishment.

Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson has said he "reluctantly" agreed not to seek the death penalty against Laurean if he was apprehended in Mexico.


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  • patrichaf7 Sep 12, 2008

    I agree, DEATH is what he deserves!!! Even if he hadn't killed her, he still should have sent to prison for life for raping her. I was raped 18 years ago, and there is not a day that goes by that something doesn't remind me of what happend to me that night. I have a life sentence, so should he!!!

  • ladyblue Sep 12, 2008

    For decades, Mexico has resisted extraditing people to the U.S. if they could face capital punishment.

    This is hilarious since their own government is so corrupt. They probably shoot their criminals when they don't like them and say they tried to escape. Bring the dog home for his trial and I hope that his old lady goes nuts with the guilt eating her up.

  • vbuchanan1969 Sep 12, 2008


    I could not have said it better. Way to go old school!!!!

  • teacher-mom Sep 11, 2008

    Why don't they keep him in prison down there?

  • oldschooltarheel Sep 11, 2008

    Darius - sounds like convict thinking there.
    "... at any excuse"??? Pray tell what you deem an urbanely sophisticated, socially progressive (& Politikally Korrect) method of dealing with a thing that kills someone, a grossly at-term gravid someone, & then roasts her in a barbeque pit?
    Yeah, thought so... hanging would be too good.

  • Bon Viveur Sep 11, 2008

    What is really STUPID is the fact that so many Americans jump and scream for the death penalty at any excuse. USA is one of the FEW countries that still has the death penalty and you know who the others are? CHINA, IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA and PAKISTAN......great. Really nice company there USA. Now, also you of course realize that USA has one of the highest crime rates in the world...even WITH the death penalty....HMMMMMM real bright thinking there.....NOT

  • newmommy06 Sep 11, 2008

    He will pay in the end no matter what happens to him...

  • NZ Sep 11, 2008

    Mexico did well to extradite him. However Mexico needs to get with the program and use the death penalty as much as necessary. Crime is out of control in Mexico, there is know wonder folks are coming to the US illegally. The Mexican Government needs to abandon its prohibition on the Death Penalty. Mexico is a good example of soft on violent criminals with declining energy stocks. Mexican prisons are "de facto" run by the criminal cartels. The judicial system is too weak to be effective. If you are convicted of killing a cop in Mexico they can't give you the Death Penalty. Organ harvesting
    and biofuel are the only decent things that need to come from convicted killers anywhere on God's green earth.

    Decriminalize drugs and the Iron Fist for violent thugs, we'd straighten out our world quickly and solve the energy problem.

  • doubletrouble Sep 11, 2008

    If there is to be no death sentence...I would rather have him spend the rest of his days in a Mexican prison, than ours...and wouldn't mind if our gov. footed the the bill. Got to be cheaper that way than our housing him, and as corrupt as the Mexican gov is, the cash would never make it to the prison system that housed him anyway. Other than death...that might be almost as good.

  • BottomLine Sep 11, 2008

    About time SA is coming back - Life with no parole~.