Davis approves extradition of Sacramento woman accused of killing niece

The Sacramento woman accused of killing her niece and surgically removing the girl's unborn baby could soon be extradited to Nevada to stand trial on murder charges.

On Thursday, Gov. Gray Davis approved a request from Nevada authorities to extradite Erin Rae Kuhn-Brown to Nevada.

Kuhn-Brown, 31, had refused to waive extradition. Her attorney, Karol Repkow, said earlier that Lyon County District Attorney Robert E. Estes was trying to bring the case to his jurisdiction to generate publicity for his campaign for judge.

Investigators allege Kuhn-Brown asphyxiated 17-year-old Kathaleena Draper at a motel after the teen changed her mind about letting Kuhn-Brown adopt her baby. They say Kuhn-Brown, an emergency room technician, then tried to deliver the baby alive but the infant boy died a short time later.

Nevada authorities asked to have Kuhn-Brown brought to Lyon County to stand trial for the murders, which they say took place while the two were driving to Las Vegas. Draper's body was found wrapped in plastic near a Sacramento dump site on June 17.

After her arrest in Sacramento, Kuhn-Brown led police to the baby's body near Silver Springs.

Barring a court appeal of Davis' order, Estes said he expected to have Kuhn-Brown transported from the Sacramento County Jail to Nevada within days.

Repkow, Kuhn-Brown's public defender, said she is considering whether there are grounds for an appeal.

''We are going to try and challenge it,'' Repkow said. ''I had asked the governor not to approve the order because of the high attention and politics in Nevada.''

Estes said he hasn't decided whether to seek the death penalty in the case, though he plans to file papers reserving the right to do so.

''I won't make that decision until I absolutely have to,'' he said.


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