Former Aspen socialite wont be extradited if death penalty is sought | VailDaily.com
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Former Aspen socialite wont be extradited if death penalty is sought

Wyatt Haupt Jr.whaupt@aspentimes.comAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN A one-time Aspen socialite wanted in connection with an alleged murder in Arizona apparently will not be extradited from Switzerland should prosecutors seek the death penalty.Andrea Bosshard Kononov, legal adviser for the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C., said an extradition must not be carried out if the offense is punishable by death. She was referencing the current extradition treaty between the Swiss and the United States.Kononov added an extradition might also be refused unless sufficient assurances are given that the death penalty will not be carried out.Her remarks were made in response to telephone and e-mail inquires from The Aspen Times regarding extradition proceedings as they apply to U.S. citizens. The guidelines could play a large role in determining the potential penalties in the case against former Aspen resident Pamela Phillips.She has been holed up in Switzerland for months.Phillips is wanted on a warrant issued in Pima County, Ariz., for the alleged murder of her ex-husband, Gary Triano.He was killed Nov. 1, 1996, when his Lincoln Town Car blew up in the parking lot at the La Paloma Country Club in Tucson. Triano was 52 at the time of his death.Authorities believe that Phillips paid $400,000 to Ronald Young to kill her ex-husband in order to collect on a $2 million life insurance policy. Phillips and Triano were divorced in 1993.Young was arrested Oct. 17 in Yorba Linda, Calif., on first-degree murder and conspiracy charges. The arrest came after he was indicted by a grand jury.Young pleaded not guilty Nov. 4 in Pima County Superior Court. Young is suspected of placing the pipe bomb that killed Triano. He is being held on $5 million bond at a Pima County jail.A judge declined a request from Youngs attorneys in December to lower his bond total.Phillips, who has a school-aged daughter in Switzerland, faces the same charges.She has retained the Geneva-based law firm of Borel & Barbey, according to documents filed in Pitkin County. That move was presumably made to deal with the alleged murder in Arizona and potential extradition proceedings.While the Pima County Attorneys Office has declined to comment on the Phillips case, despite repeated inquiries, it can pursue the death penalty in the matter, according to Arizona law.The other potential penalties are a minimum of 25 years to life in state prison with parole eligibility after serving 25 years, or life in prison without the possibility of parole.Choosing one of those potential penalties could open the door for prosecutors, given the length of the prison sentence would not necessarily constitute a reason for the Swiss government to refuse extradition, according to the treaty.Meanwhile, Phillips also has a case pending in Pitkin County. The case stems from an Aug. 31 arrest for driving while intoxicated. A jury trial is set June 26.whaupt@aspentimes.com


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