Prosecutor Refuses to Extradite Murder Suspect

( – Tensions flared between Arizona and New York on Wednesday, February 21, as Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, a Republican, refused to extradite Raad Almansoori, a suspect in both a Phoenix-area stabbing spree and the fatal bludgeoning of a woman in Manhattan. Mitchell, citing concerns over New York City’s criminal justice system under Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg, declared it “safer” to keep Almansoori in Arizona custody.

Almansoori, 26, is currently held without bond after allegedly stabbing two women in Phoenix within days of each other. He also faces charges in the February 8 death of Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, 38, found bludgeoned to death in a Manhattan hotel room.

Mitchell’s decision immediately stirred controversy as she stated at a press conference that, after observing the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, she believed it was safer to keep him in local custody. This critique of Bragg’s policies, which have been criticized for prioritizing rehabilitation over incarceration in many cases, drew a sharp rebuke from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Emily Tuttle, a spokesperson for Bragg’s office, expressed deep concern that DA Mitchell was engaging in political gamesmanship during a murder investigation. Tuttle further commented that refusing to allow the victim’s family to seek justice and accountability was disrespectful.

Tuttle emphasized New York’s declining homicide rate and stricter bail laws for non-violent offenses, countering Mitchell’s concerns. However, these laws do not apply to murder charges – which has raised concerns about the true motive behind Mitchell’s decision.

Further complicating matters, critics point to Bragg’s past criticism of former President Donald Trump and his role in the hush money case as a potential driver for Mitchell’s actions. This interjects a layer of partisan politics into an already complex legal situation.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues. New York City police and the FBI are exploring possible connections between Almansoori and past crimes in Florida and Texas, where he has also resided and faced arrests.

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