WATCH: Anthony Kubica is in a California jail, awaiting trial for the murder of a wealthy widow in a cold case dating back almost three decades. Tess van Straaten reports.
A Shawnigan Lake man is in custody at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, California, in lieu of $1 million bail.
Anthony Michael Kubica, who also goes by Tony or Anton Kubica, is charged with killing a wealthy widow almost three decades ago.
The case dates back to June of 1990 when 78-year-old Marie Darling vanished from her Palm Springs home.
Hikers found her remains dumped in the desert a few weeks later. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Kubica and his late wife, Connie Jo Kubica — who police say was Darling’s financial adviser — were suspects early on.
California Superior Court documents show almost $185,000 was transferred out of Darling’s bank account to an account in Anguilla that Kubica allegedly opened, and then emptied, just days before the body was found.
Authorities in California filed a felony murder charge against Kubica until 2014.
But they didn’t know where he was until they saw him in a 2017 CHEK News story on a controversial Lake Cowichan Development.
Kubica loses his fight against extradition
An extradition request was filed a few months later and Kubica tried to fight it.
His lawyer argued that too much time had passed for Kubica to get a fair trial but a B.C. supreme court judge ruled against him last year and federal justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould approved the extradition request.
Kubica was flown to Los Angeles and arrested at LAX. He entered a not-guilty plea last month.
The 62-year-old’s next court appearance is January 24th for a felony settlement conference.
“The hearing name does not necessarily mean there will be a settlement, it is a hearing at which both sides and the court can meet to be sure things are proceeding,” explains John Hall, a public information officer with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
“If a defendant in any felony case does decide to plead guilty to the judge or enters into a plea agreement with our office, that can happen at the felony settlement conference.”
None of the allegations have been proven in court.