A Shawnigan Lake man will stand trial in a nearly 30-year-old murder case in California, NBC affiliate Channel 4 in Los Angeles reported Monday.
Anthony Michael Kubica, who also goes by Tony or Anton Kubica, is charged with killing 78-year-old Marie Darling, a wealthy widow who vanished from her Palm Springs home in 1990.
The 62-year-old Kubica is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, and will return to court March 11 for arraignment.
NBC reports Kubica’s defence attorney John Dolan argued there was no physical evidence or evidence of contact with Darling, or a motive for Kubica to murder her.
The prosecution countered by saying Kubica was financially stressed out and there was a “very strong motive” for him to commit the crime.
Kubica was extradited to the U.S. and California Superior Court documents showed 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 Darling’s body was found.
Kubica and his late wife, Connie Jo Kubica, lived in Palm Springs when Darling was murdered and investigators say the motive appeared to be financial.
Authorities in California filed a felony murder charge against Kubica until 2014, but didn’t know where he was until a 2017 CHEK news story on a controversial Lake Cowichan development.
An extradition request was filed a few months later, which Kubica fought and his lawyer argued too much time had passed to get a fair trial.
But then-federal justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould approved the extradition request after a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled against Kubica.
Authorities flew Kubica to Los Angeles and arrested at LAX. He entered a not-guilty in court.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.