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MAYVILLE, NY (WNY News Now) – A Jamestown felon suspected of murder will be extradited back to the region for prosecution this week.
34-year-old Michael Burham was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon in South Carolina.
Police in Jamestown have been looking for Burham since May 11, following the homicide of Kala Hodkin. He was wanted for questioning in that case, alongside warrants for a car fire and rape.
In addition, Burham is accused of kidnapping an elderly couple out of Warren County at gunpoint, making them drive him to South Carolina.
Now that he has been captured, Burham waived any challenges to his extradition to New York State.
“On the federal charges, he was brought before a local magistrate in South Carolina to determine whether he was going to contest his extradition on the federal charges.,“ explained Chautauqua County DA Jason Schmidt. “At this point he’s waived.”
If the federal charges are dropped, then it will be up to the individual states to take on the case.
Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt tells us that he has been in close contact with the Warren County DA on how to prosecute Burham.
The ideal plan, according to Schmidt, is to let Pennsylvania prosecute him first, allowing New York authorities to compile all needed evidence.
“What we’re doing is we’re essentially just gathering all our information on making a determination as to which way we go,” stated Schmidt. “But we’re doing that in coordination with Pennsylvania authorities so that we can be very careful and delivered about how we handle the proceedings going forward.”
While the District Attorney understands the want by the community and others alike, a stronger case can be made with a little bit of patience.
“I don’t want to be knee-jerk in how we handle it,” explained Schmidt. “I think we need to be very shrewd in making sure we have all our ducks in a row before we go forward. Although certainly we have a number of law enforcement agencies and our office which is been looking at this and awaiting this very moment, so we’re not caught unprepared. And we aren’t, it’s just a matter of coordinating so we put our best foot forward.”
Burham is expected to arrive in Buffalo New York early Friday where he will face a hearing for fleeing the state. That hearing would be on either Friday, or if it is too late in the day, the next business day, Tuesday May 30.
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