Arizona prosecutors won’t agree to extradite SoHo hotel murder suspect to New York, suggest lack of trust in Manhattan DA newsbhunt


NEW YORK – Prosecutors in Arizona say they won’t agree right now to extradite the man accused of murdering a woman in SoHo because they don’t trust Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. 

Raad Almansoori is locked up in Arizona, where police say he stabbed two women. The Manhattan DA wants to bring him to New York to face charges for that SoHo murder, but Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell wants him to stay in Arizona, for now. 

“I just want to say that I know there’s been discussion about New York wanting to extradite this individual. And I’m sure that this is not aimed at the New York Police Department at all, I know they did a hard job, and they did a good job. But we will not be agreeing to extradition. I’ve instructed my extradition attorneys not to agree to that. We’re going to keep him here. These are mandatory prison sentences. And having observed the treatment of violent criminals in the New York area by the Manhattan DA there, Alvin Bragg, I think it’s safer to keep him here and keep him in custody so that he can not be out doing this to individuals either in our state, county or anywhere in the United States,” Mitchell said. 

A spokesperson from the Manhattan District Attorney, Emily Tuttle, called Mitchell’s comments “deeply disturbing” and accused her of “playing political games in a murder investigation.”

“In Manhattan, we are serious about New Yorkers’ safety, which is why murders are down 24% and shootings are down 38% since D.A. Bragg took office. New York’s murder rate is less than half that of Phoenix, Arizona, because of the hard work of the NYPD and all of our law enforcement partners,” Tuttle said. “It is a slap in the face to them and to the victim in our case to refuse to allow us to seek justice and full accountability for a New Yorker’s death.”

“I have never heard of a state not granting the extradition from another state,” criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor David Schwartz told CBS New York.

He called Mitchell’s statement unconstitutional and politically motivated.

“To hold someone because you think that the laws in the other state are not going to protect the people based on bail, it is such a ridiculous argument,” he said.

He added, “They are more than qualified to try this case of a criminal defendant that is undoubtedly going to be held without bail on remand status.”

Watch Tim McNicholas’ report  

Mitchell made the comments at a news conference where police said Almansoori wanted to hurt more people. 

“This arrest, without a doubt, as heinous as everything he’s done so far, stopped someone from continuing that path of destruction,” Surprise, Ariz. Police Chief Benny Piña said. 

Police in Arizona said Almansoori admitted he killed someone in New York earlier this month. The NYPD believes Almansoori attacked Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, 38, with an iron, killing her at a SoHo hotel.

Investigators also said he sexually assaulted a woman in Florida in April. Leah Palian said that woman was with her, and she told the terrifying story during a call with a CBS affiliate station. 

“This man had the tightest grip on my neck, right under my chin, cut off the airway immediately. Knew was he was doing,” Palian said. 

Palian, who said she worked with Almansoori at an Orlando restaurant, said he took off in her car after she called 911. He was later arrested and charged. 

“I literally, verbatim told them, if you let him walk with a slap on the wrist, he’s going to turn into a serial killer,” Palian said. 

Records show Almansoori was charged in Florida with Grand Theft Auto, but charges of sexual battery and aggravated assault were dropped. 

“The state of Florida has failed me so badly,” Palian said. 

Prosecutors in Orange County, Flotifs, tell CBS New York there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the sexual battery and aggravated assault charges. He posted bail there in September. A statement from Orange County prosecutors reads, in part: 

“Our office found sufficient evidence to file a Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle charge. Almansoori was arrested and granted a bond of $2,500 for that third-degree felony, which is customary for the type of charge and consistent with Florida law which mandates a bond be set in most cases. Almansoori was released from jail after posting bail in September 2023. His next scheduled court appearance is a pre-trial conference on March 13. Our office has filed a motion to revoke Almansoori’s bond based on new information we have received.

“We are disheartened to hear about the tragic events in New York and Arizona and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and all the communities impacted. We also care deeply about the victims in our communities and do everything possible to support them and build strong cases to secure convictions. We acknowledge the hurt and pain that is felt when we are legally unable to move forward with prosecuting a case.”

Mitchell said later Wednesday New York can file for extradition, but she wants to proceed first. 

In an email, Oleas-Aranciba’s sister told CBS New York’s Timothy McNicholas she was a hardworking, smart, bright woman, and the family is heartbroken. 

The NYPD is working with the FBI to see if Almansoori’s connected to other crimes.


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