A local court date for a Colorado man accused of killing two people in Williams may be a long time coming, according to the law enforcement officials in Arizona and Colorado.
Derrick Shawn Barnett, 29, of Grand Junction, Colo., was formally charged on Saturday with two counts of murder along with vehicle theft and weapons misconduct in the deaths of Michael Dimuria, 67, and his wife Nora Dimuria, 64.
However, it may take over a year for Barnett to face charges in Arizona, due to the fact he is accused of a multitude of crimes in Colorado, making the extradition process from his home state to Arizona lengthy and difficult.
Extradition is the surrender of an accused person from one state to another.
When Barnett was arrested by Dolores County and Montezuma County sheriff’s deputies during a high-speed chase on May 6, he was charged with three felony counts of eluding, reckless driving and driving with a revoked license. Barnett also had an outstanding warrant for burglary, assault by strangulation and intimidation of a witness.
Overall, Barnett is accused of 10 different crimes in two different states, all of which must go through the court system overseeing the jurisdiction where each crime was committed.
“The reality is that Barnett is going to Arizona to face charges at some point, but he does have court dates to set up here,” Dolores County Sheriff Jerry Martin said.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Officer Commander Rex Gilliland expressed the same sentiment, stating that Barnett will face his Arizona murder charges, but Colorado law enforcement has to make the first move.
“He has local charges in Dolores and Montezuma and he has outstanding warrants in Grand Junction,” Gilliland said. “Our arrest warrant has been served, but he is still going to have to answer to those crimes in Colorado.”
Waiver or a governor
There are two ways to extradite Barnett. The simplest way would be for Barnett to waive his rights to extradition, meaning that he and the three Colorado jurisdictions charging him would agree to put his charges on hold so Barnett could go to court for his Arizona murder counts.
Gilliland said that in his experience the only time a defendant waives their extradition rights is when they are looking to be closer to their family or support system.
According to Gilliland, the fact that Barnett is being charged with more significant crimes in Arizona and does not seem to have family in the state makes it unlikely that Barnett would waive his extradition rights.
The more likely route to get Barnett to Arizona would be to get the prosecuting attorney to request a warrant from the Colorado Governor’s Office.
A governor’s warrant gives permission for one state to extradite the defendant to another state to face charges, but it is time-consuming.
“The most likely process is that our local prosecutors are going to request a governor’s warrant and that will take a bit of time. It can be a slow process,” Gilliland said.
Martin said that a governor’s warrant is not difficult to obtain for someone facing felony charges like Barnett, but the sheriff also said prosecutors in Dolores and Montezuma County may want him to face charges in Colorado first.
“When it comes to felonies we do not have much trouble getting a warrant,” Martin said. “But he does have some serious charges here that are not related to his charges in Arizona.”
Gilliland said Barnett’s extradition will only move forward based on the next steps of Colorado prosecutors.
“The big question is what is Colorado going to do with their charges?” Gilliland said. “They could decide to put their charges on hold and send him to Arizona or they could choose to charge him in Colorado first and who knows how long that will take.”
Barnett is currently in custody in Montezuma County, Colo.