Murder suspect returning to Nevada
April 12, 2002
A Douglas County fugitive captured in Indiana waived extradition Thursday, clearing the way for his return to face charges of murder and attempted murder, said the Douglas County prosecutor handling the case.
Christopher Fiegehen, 23, was apprehended late Tuesday night on the campus of Vincennes University in Indiana.
He is suspected of murdering Al Chorkey and shooting his wife, Lorelle, in an early-morning rampage at their Johnson Lane-area home Feb. 10 and has been a fugitive since the slaying. They are the parents of Fiegehen’s ex-girlfriend.
“I learned about 15 minutes ago that he has waived extradition,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Jackson about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. “We hope that we’ll have him in the custody of the Douglas County Jail as soon as possible.”
Once back in Douglas County, Fiegehen will have a first appearance in East Fork Justice Court to be advised of his rights and receive a copy of the criminal complaint. Prosecutors then must show probable cause to bind Fiegehen over for trial in a preliminary hearing within 15 days of his first appearance.
Whether Douglas County will seek the death penalty remains to be seen, Jackson said.
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“The investigation is ongoing and hasn’t been fully completed,” he said. “We will apply all the facts as we understand them and look to see if there are aggravating circumstances,” which would warrant the death penalty.
“It’s important to note, we have not made that decision yet,” he said.
Sheriff Ron Pierini said Douglas County detectives Sgt. Keith Logan and Sgt. Tim Minister arrived at the Knox County (Ind.) Jail about 10 p.m. Wednesday night to interview Fiegehen. They will accompany him back to Nevada.
Pierini wouldn’t comment on what, if anything, Fiegehen has said, but did say he was represented by counsel.
Fiegehen’s Reno-based attorney, Richard Young, was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Chorkey family members in Michigan, communicating by e-mail, said they are relieved to know the man suspected of murdering Chorkey is behind bars.
“It was like a breath of spring air, relief, that he was caught,” wrote Kent Martin, whose mother-in-law is Chorkey’s aunt.
“I think there’s a lot of people that are relieved that he is custody,” said Jackson, the prosecutor.
Since the murder, a nationwide manhunt and two profiles of the case on the nationally televised program “America’s Most Wanted” had generated few clues.
On March 12, the FBI confirmed Fiegehen had worked in a Mobile, Ala., restaurant for about 10 days under a fake name before disappearing on March 8.
Tuesday night, Vincennes University campus police officers checking the names of four people found near railroad tracks discovered Fiegehen’s warrants when he gave officers his Nevada driver’s license. He was arrested without incident. Authorities there suspect Fiegehen was riding the trains when he got off in Vincennes. When arrested he had less than $100 on him and no bags.
According to Pierini, Lorelle Chorkey has been released from a Reno hospital and has “recovered extremely well, a lot better than was expected,” from gunshot wounds to the head.