Raul Gomez-Garcia's Extradition Granted

Donnie Young's Widow Wants To See Suspect Back In Colorado

Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has granted the United State's request to extradite suspected cop killer Raul Gomez-Garcia, 7NEWS confirmed.

Gomez-Garcia can still appeal his extradition over the next three weeks.

Gomez-Garcia is suspected of shooting and killing Denver police Detective Donald Young and wounding his partner, Detective Jack Bishop, last May.

He is charged with second-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

"I am extremely pleased that the extradition order has been signed. The process has moved forward just as we understood it would. I appreciate the work done on this case by both Mexican and American officials and am fully prepared for the next step in the process," said Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.

If Gomez-Garcia does appeal, it could take several months for Mexico's Judical Power to present its final resolution. This timeframe will depend on the complexity of the arguments presented by the defendant. If the appeal does not take place, then the extradition granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be executed and Gomez Garcia will return to Colorado, where he faces up to 96 years in prison if convicted of both charges.

Young's widow, Kelly, said she was pleased the Mexican government granted Gomez-Garcia's extradition.

"It kind of gets rid of that cloud that's over our head," she told reporters. "The biggest thing is we want to see him back here and we want to see him go through our justice system."

She learned of the extradition approval on Wednesday.

Morrissey had said the extradition could have been delayed or denied if he charged Gomez-Garcia with first-degree murder, which can be punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment.

A 1978 treaty with the United States allows Mexico to deny extradition if the person faces the death penalty. In 2001, the Mexican Supreme Court also blocked extradition of suspects facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After Gomez-Garcia's arrest, Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Colo., introduced legislation that cut off foreign aid to countries that refuse to extradite anyone suspected of killing an American law-enforcement officer.

The provision was part of a 2006 foreign aid bill signed into law by President Bush earlier this month.

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