Supreme Court agrees to hear Drescher extradition appeal CHARLESTON, W.Va. (UPI) _ The Wes

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Supreme Court agrees to hear Drescher extradition appeal CHARLESTON, W.Va. (UPI) _ The West Virginia Supreme Court Tuesday unanimously agreed to hear the appeal of a Hare Krishna swami of an order sending him to California to face a murder charge. Swami Thomas Drescher appealed an Aug. 13 ruling sending him to California,where he is wanted for the murder of a former Krishna. In his appeal, Drescher said he was not in California in May 1986 when prosecutors say Krishna dissident Steven Bryant was murdered. Drescher claims he was attending a religious festival at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, at the time. However, during Drescher's extradition hearing in Marshall County, a sworn statement by the manager of a car rental agency said the swami rented a car from the agency's Los Angeles International airport office on May 20, 1986. Los Angeles police took the manager's statement after he refused to travel to West Virginia, saying it would cause him financial hardship. Drescher is serving a life sentence in the West Virginia Penitentiary for the 1984 murder of ex-devotee Charles St. Denis. He also faces an additional term of up to 10 years in an arson-for-profit scheme, in which he was convicted of torching a building to cheat an insurance company out of $40,000.

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