updated 08/22/2006 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/22/2006 AT 1:25 PM ET
The case of “The People v. John Karr” got underway Tuesday in the Los Angeles County Courthouse, where the man who claims he was with JonBenet Ramsey at the time of her 1996 murder in the basement of her parents’ Boulder, Colo., home waived his right to contest extradition to Colorado – and will soon be on his way there to face charges against him.
In the L.A. courtroom, the 41-year-old former schoolteacher, represented by public defenders and wearing a standard jailhouse orange jumpsuit, was informed that he faces charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child sexual assault and is considered “a fugitive from justice.”
Authorities have sealed his arrest warrant, and Karr was expected to be en route to Colorado on Wednesday. Karr’s extradition had already been expedited by California authorities, who dropped an outstanding arrest warrant against him on 2001 charges of possession of child pornography.
During the brief Tuesday hearing, Karr remained expressionless, speaking only when he was asked if he understood that once he signed the document that the judge read to him he would be “knowing and intelligently” waiving his right to contest extradition. Karr replied, “Yes, your honor.”
After a 15-hour flight from Thailand, where he was arrested last Wednesday, Karr arrived at the L.A. county jail at 11:17 p.m. Sunday and was taken to processing, where he was issued the jumpsuit – in stark contrast to the shirt and tie he requested from Thai authorities, so he would look like a schoolteacher on his trip to L.A.
Lin Wood, the attorney for JonBenet’s father, John Ramsey, told CNN on Monday that his client’s reaction to the arrest in Thailand was “one of hope” – although, like many others, Ramsey is not sure Karr killed JonBenet.
“He does not know whether Mr. Karr is guilty of that crime,” Wood said on Larry King Live. “He does not know the evidence upon which the district attorney is relying in making the arrest.”