U.S. Seeks Extradition of Murderer Who Took Refuge in Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -

The International Division of the Justice Ministry filed an extradition request with the Yerushalayim District Court to deport an American citizen who fled to Israel to avoid murder charges in the United States. The deportation order was made in the wake of an extradition request by the U.S.

Haitim Mahir Taha, 20, was accused of murdering Leroy Lawrence in April 2017, along with another suspect, who was subsequently arrested. The victim was a high school student in Anchorage, Alaska, a passerby who was apparently accidentally shot in a shooting exchange between gang members.

Taha disappeared after the murder, and an international search tracked him to Israel, where he was staying with relatives. He entered Israel on his American passport just days after the incident and he had been here illegally since his visa ran out. The U.S. a short time later filed a request for extradition. The Yerushalayim court is expected to decide on the deportation request in the coming days.