3 11-18-88 08:46 pes calif. Court says Drescher can be sent to California CHARLESTON, W.Va
3 11-18-88 08:46 pes
Court says Drescher can be sent to California
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (UPI) _ Krishna devotee Thomas Drescher can be
sent to California to face charges for the 1986 murder of a Krishna
dissident, the West Virginia Surpeme Court ruled Friday.
Los Angeles authorities claim Drescher was hired to kill Stephen
Bryant on May 22, 1986. Bryant was shot in the head with a .45-caliber
The case reached the state Supreme Court because Drescher appealed
an August 1987 Marshall County Circuit Court ruling that approved his
Drescher, who is serving a life sentence in the West Virginia
Penitentiary for the 1983 murder of Krishna dissident Charles St. Denis,
appealed the ruling, claiming he was not in California at the time of
The former New Vrindaban resident claims he was attending a
four-day religious festival in Columbus, Ohio, at the time of the
shooting. During his extraditon hearing last year, four people testified
that Drescher was in Ohio when Bryant was killed.
In his appeal, Drescher's lawyer said the circuit judge ignored
that testimony, adding that Los Angeles authorities failed to place his
client in California at the time of the shooting.
The high court, however, noted in its opinion that California
authorities presented evidence from a Los Angeles car rental agency
manager showing Drescher rented a car on May 20, 1986 and returned it
two days later.
Concerning the testimony of the four witnesses, the high court said
none of them testified that they saw Drescher at the exact time Bryant
If convicted in California of Bryant's murder, Drescher would face
the death sentence.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank