A Lake Cowichan man wanted for murder charges in the U.S. is a step closer to being extradited there. On Tuesday a judge ruled there is enough evidence to extradite Tony Kubica to face murder charges in the cold-case murder of an elderly Palm Springs widow back in 1990.
On a hot summer's day last September, Tony Kubica tried to escape CHEK News cameras and residents of Lake Cowichan's McLean Road who were furious that he was pumping thousands of gallons of water in the midst of a drought, as he tested an aquifer for a controversial development.
"I mean they're pumping out 30,000 gallons an hour every hour for 72 hours," said Lake Cowichan resident Ray Fenton that day.
"Seems really unfair that they're pouring all that water into the forest for no reason," said Lake Cowichan resident Ryan Simpson.
Yet CHEK News cameras still managed to capture Kubica's picture and with it, he landed himself in the hottest water of all.
"Yeah if he hadn't been all over the news he probably would have got away," said Simpson on Tuesday.
Investigators trying to crack a cold case in Palm Springs saw Kubica, who they wanted to try for the murder of elderly widow Marie Darling, suddenly knew just where to look for him. Weeks later, the arrest was made.
"Well yeah, it was a bit of a surprise to see that," said Ray Fenton.
On Tuesday, in a Vancouver courtroom, a judge ruled there was sufficient evidence for the Cowichan man, who lived in Palm Springs at the time of Marie Darling's death, to be extradited from Canada to the U.S. to face murder charges. However, Kubica's lawyer argues the crime happened too long ago and so did the legal process.
"So on behalf of Mr. Kubica we will be raising issues concerning the possible effect of that delay," said Kubica's counsel Robert Mulligan.
It's an argument that's frustrating to residents back in Lake Cowichan.
"I don't think it should matter how long ago," said Simpson. "You did something bad you should have to pay for it and good riddance. I hope he doesn't cause any more problems where he's going," said Simpson.
Tony Kubica's case will be made before a judge on Friday with people on both sides of the border watching closely for the outcome.