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Accused Marine's wife visiting him in Mexican jail

Posted November 6, 2008

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— The wife of a Camp Lejeune Marine charged with killing a pregnant comrade has gone to Mexico to visit her husband at the jail where he is fighting extradition to the U.S., authorities said Thursday.

Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said he was unsure whether Lance Cpl. Christina Laurean's visit with Cpl. Cesar Laurean would impact his case.

Cesar Laurean is charged with first-degree murder in the December death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, whose charred remains were found in January in a shallow grave behind the Laureans' Jacksonville home.

Lauterbach was seven months' pregnant at the time of her death. An autopsy determined she had been beaten to death, and authorities said they found traces of blood inside Laurean's home. They have not said if was Lauterbach's.

Laurean fled Jacksonville on Jan. 11, hours before Lauterbach's body was found, and was arrested in April in a small town in western Mexico after an international manhunt.

When he fled, he left behind a note in which he claimed Lauterbach had committed suicide and that he had buried her out of fear. Christina Laurean turned that note over to authorities and cooperated with them during the search for her husband.

The Marine Corps granted Christina Laurean a two-week leave to visit her husband, and she left for Mexico on Monday, Hudson said. The military plans to remain in close contact with her throughout her stay there, he said.

The Laureans' child remained in Onslow County with relatives, he said.

"I do not know what impact Christina Laurean's decision to travel to Mexico to visit her husband will have on her willingness to continue to cooperate with the proper authorities," he said. "I cannot compel her (to testify). She's a spouse."

Cesar Laurean's U.S. attorney, Dick McNeil, said Christina Laurean's visit also could present problems for his case.

"I'm concerned about any kind of potential recordings (of conversations between the Laureans). I'm not saying they do that down there, but that's something that's not done here in America," McNeil said. "At the same time, I have talked to my client, and he's very eager to see his wife. I'm sure he's very happy that she's down there."

Cesar Laurean is fighting a Mexican court's decision to extradite him to North Carolina to face charges in the case. One of the arguments presented by his Mexican attorneys is that a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole violates the extradition treaty between the U.S. and Mexico.

Hudson agreed months ago not to seek the death penalty against Laurean if he were apprehended in Mexico because the country has resisted extraditing people to the U.S. if they could face capital punishment.

The appeal of the extradition order could take up to two years, Hudson said.

The military has no pending charges against Laurean and is letting the civilian authorities in Onslow County handle the case, said Lt. Col. Curtis Hill, a spokesman for Camp Lejeune.

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  • iwanttobeillegalalien Nov 6, 2008

    I wonder if they would make a trade for him, maybe say 30million illegals in the states...

  • Adelinthe Nov 6, 2008

    Let Mexico release him -

    Then send "The Dog" after him.

    Ruff! Ruff!! Slap!!!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Nov 6, 2008

    Wonder if they have psychiatrists down there; cause this woman surely needs it for this guy running, leaving her and their kids holding the bag.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • san4short Nov 6, 2008

    Not so sure of the wife being so innocent in all this, I hope they are still investigating. I do feel that he should be returned to face charges here in the US, so that the murdered girl's family can see justice done and they can have some sort of closure. It certainly doesn't look good for the wife to be going there to visit him if she had nothing to do with it, I mean would you want to visit a man who may have cheated on you, had a child with another woman and later he killed her? I doubt a pregnant woman would have committed suicide either. Lots of unanswered questions, which is why he needs to go through a trial here so that the facts can come out.

  • RealityAddict Nov 6, 2008

    Guess we know why she is going now....

    According to the N&O
    "....Mexican jails allow prisoners a conjugal visit on their birthday - Cesar Laurean's is Nov. 13...."

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2768/story/1284568.html

  • Pilot Nov 6, 2008

    There is a service who will go get bad actors on foreign soil. If they want him (and he is out of jail in Mexico) he can be had. He may just want to say in a Mexican jail though!

  • ratherbnnc Nov 6, 2008

    For those of you who say let him rot in the Mexican jail.....if he is not extradited, they have nothing to hold him on as he has not committed any crimes there. I hope they turn him loose, then let the military go get him for the AWOL charges. While they have him back here in the states....then let the civilian authorities have him, charge him, and then try him WITH the death penalty on the table. We don't need Mexico's permission if he is only brought back on the AWOL charges. Makes sense to me....
    Nothingdoing

    Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but the Marine Corp cannot go to Mexico and get him on AWOL charges. Mexico is foreign soil. Just the same as you cant go into South Carolina from North Carolina and bring someone back on a misdemeanor charge.

  • AMHall82 Nov 6, 2008

    alphabaker - that's what I think! He is a US Marine. He went AWOL. We know where he is located. Why hasn't the service gone and gotten him. Any other AWOL soldier would have been returned to face the consequences of going AWOL. What makes this one special?

  • whocares Nov 6, 2008

    Let Mexico have him for a while. After spending time in a Mexican jail he probably would be happy with the death penelty. Their jails are not as prisoner friendly.

  • Nothingdoing Nov 6, 2008

    For those of you who say let him rot in the Mexican jail.....if he is not extradited, they have nothing to hold him on as he has not committed any crimes there. I hope they turn him loose, then let the military go get him for the AWOL charges. While they have him back here in the states....then let the civilian authorities have him, charge him, and then try him WITH the death penalty on the table. We don't need Mexico's permission if he is only brought back on the AWOL charges. Makes sense to me....

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