WNYT.com

Former U.S. Marine in federal court for extradition hearing

Posted at: 06/27/2013 6:04 PM
By: Dan Bazile

ALBANY -- Timothy Kaufman defended himself during an extradition hearing in federal court on Thursday. He told the judge that he didn't commit the double murder in the Philippines. The 35 year-old  was arrested back in April at his grandfather's home in Clifton Park. He's been in jail since then. His grandfather also defended him.

"He helped his country as a marine, his country should help him," said Kaufman's grandfather, Sidney Kaufman

Kaufman is facing extradition to the Philippines to face the justice system there. On September 1, 2011 Joseph Balmer, 54, a retired police officer from Northern Ireland and his girlfriend, Elma De Guia, 26, were shot multiple times. Kaufman is one of three men charged in the killing. But authorities said Kaufman was the one who pulled the trigger.

"This all stems from a housekeeper in the Philippines who talked to the police on two occasions," said Kaufman's attorney Mark Sacco. "On the first occasion she said nothing about any guns or clothing with blood on it. And the second time she talked to the police, she came up with this new story. That's very suspect in our opinion."

The key point in this case is whether there's enough probable cause from the Philippines paperwork to extradite Kaufman.

"The question becomes will our the state department send back a Marine based on 30 pieces of paper sent to us by the Philippine Government to likely either be killed there or incarcerated for the rest of his life. You would think they would need a little more than that," Sacco said.

The judge will issue an opinion. Secretary of State John Kerry will make the final decision.