3 07-17-87 02:39 ped
Editors: The United Press International West Virginia news report for
Saturday morning newspapers will include:
(DRESCHER) Moundsville _ Hare Krishna devotee Thomas Drescher says
a religious ceremony next week will erase his past and should permit him
to be freed from prison were he is serving a life sentence for murder.
4 07-17-87 03:56 ped
calif., n.y., krishna states
Drescher says ceremony will erase his past and murder conviction
MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (UPI) _ Hare Krishna devotee Thomas Drescher
says he will go through a religious ceremony next week that erases his
past and should permit him to be freed from his life sentence in prison
"They should set me free and allow me to preach," Drescher said
Friday from the West Virginia Penitentiary. "With this ceremony, you
become socially dead. For a Krishna, it means, `Whatever he was, he no
However, Marshall County prosecutor Thomas White said the ceremony
wouldn't result in Drescher's release.
It's totally foreign to any jurisprudence I know of," he said.
"It's little more than a laughing matter."
Drescher said he will take the order of Sannyasa in a religious
ceremony next Wednesday inside the maximum-security prison at
Moundsville. He said the title of "swami" will be added to his Krishna
"One becomes fully renounced of material encumbrances. You have to
cut off all previous ties with your wife and family," he said. "You
must rely solely on Krishna."
Drescher, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., is serving a life sentence
without chance for parole for the 1983 murder of fellow Krishna Charles
White said Drescher's comment that his past will be erased through
the ceremony could be construed as a ploy to avoid extradition to
California where he is wanted for the May 1986 murder of Krishna
dissident Steven Bryant of Los Angeles.
"(Drescher) can't allege he's not the same person just because he
has a different name," White said.
Drescher's second extradition hearing is scheduled July 31 in
Marshall County Circuit Court in Moundsville. He refused during a June
26 hearing to waive extradition.