Nevada man accused of 1972 Honolulu killing fighting extradition
RENO, Nev. — A former deputy Nevada attorney general accused of a 1972 killing in Honolulu told a Reno judge Wednesday he wants to fight extradition to Hawaii because he believes his constitutional rights were violated when he was arrested last week.
Tudor Chirila, 77, said he was unlawfully arrested at a Reno hospital after police forced him earlier this month to provide saliva for a DNA sample that detectives say tied him to the cold case killing of a 19-year-old woman in Hawaiʻi.
"I think if the 9th Circuit (Court of Appeals) saw this, they'd throw it out," Chirila told the judge from a wheelchair when he appeared at his arraignment Wednesday in Reno Justice Court.
Justice of the Peace Scott Pearson told Chirila any legal challenge of his arrest would have to come in Hawaiʻi where he will be tried. But he agreed to appoint Chirila a public defender and scheduled another hearing for Oct. 3.
Washoe County Deputy District Attorney Amos Stege said he would initiate efforts to obtain a governor's warrant in Hawaiʻi for Chirila's extradition.
Meanwhile, Pearson ordered Chirila to remain jailed without bail on a fugitive warrant in Reno, where he was arrested last week on a criminal complaint from Hawaiʻi accusing him of second-degree murder in the 1972 fatal stabbing of Nancy Anderson in her Honolulu apartment.
The former deputy attorney general once ran for the Nevada Supreme Court and later served as president of a corporation affiliated with the infamous Mustang Ranch brothel.
Chirila, looking frail and balding with some gray hair on the edges in a red jail jumpsuit and handcuffs chained around his waist in the wheelchair, told the judge the officers who obtained the DNA sample from him indicated they could "beat the hell out me if necessary" to collect his saliva.
"I kept saying this is unconstitutional," Chirila said.
"You're making me be a witness against myself," he said. "Whether it's Donald Trump saying I refuse to answer a question or me saying I refuse to give any samples, it's a constitutional right."
Chirila said he had recently had eye surgery when the officers knocked on the door of his residence Sept. 6 with a warrant for the DNA sample and told him they could use any force necessary to obtain it.
"I was scared to hell they were gonna hit my eye," he said. "I kept saying this is unconstitutional."
Pearson said the officers were authorized to use any reasonable force necessary to obtain the sample. He said he understood Chirila's concerns, but "it's not an issue in this court."
The judge repeated that any constitutional arguments would have to be presented in district court in Hawaiʻi and any complaint about the way he was treated by police would have to be filed in civil court.
Pearson also told Chirila the decision was up to him, but that in such an old case, the longer he waits there's more of a chance witnesses he wants to testify on his behalf might not be available.
He said that because Chirila had acknowledged he was the person named in the arrest warrant from Hawaiʻi, that was the only issue before the Reno court and extradition was almost certain eventually.
"It doesn't seem like there's a lot to contest. But it's your decision," Pearson said.
Chirila replied, "Oh, your honor, I want to go to Hawaiʻi."
"It's so beautiful. The problem is, I don't think this arrest was constitutional," he said. "If I go to Hawaiʻi, they're going to say they didn't do anything wrong — it was Reno (police) who got rough with you."
Honolulu police said new DNA evidence linked him to the crime scene at Anderson's apartment in Waikīkī, where she had been stabbed more than 60 times. She had recently moved there from Bay City, Michigan and was working at a McDonald's restaurant.
The criminal complaint filed in Hawaiʻi said police had reopened the cold case multiple times since the 1972 killing and received a tip in December that Chirila could be a suspect.
In March, police obtained a DNA sample from Chirila's son, John Chirila of Newport Beach, California, that identified him as the biological child of a DNA sample found at the crime scene, according to the criminal complaint.
Police served a search warrant and obtained a DNA sample from Tudor Chirila at his Reno apartment on Sept. 6, court records show.
A Reno detective said in an affidavit that he was notified by Honolulu police late Sept. 12 they had a signed warrant for Chirila's arrest, and the next day he was taken into custody "without incident" at a Reno hospital where he had been taken "regarding an attempted suicide."