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Man charged with wife’s death in Tonga wants his cash back


    In this Oct. 4 photo provided by the Samoa News, Dean Fletcher, left, is escorted by a police officer after his initial appearance in the District Court of American Samoa in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

A U.S. citizen detained in Honolulu and facing extradition to Tonga where he’s accused of beating his wife to death has asked the U.S. government to return cash he had amassed from other countries including Canada and New Zealand.

A public defender for Dean Jay Fletcher filed a motion Thursday saying the government is illegally keeping the currency.

U.S. marshals brought Fletcher to Honolulu last month after he allegedly escaped from a Tonga jail and sailed to American Samoa.

Court documents say he was indicted on a murder charge in the July death of his wife, Patricia Linne Kearney.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Butrick says the government seized the money in accordance with a treaty with Tonga. He says the cash is worth about $10,000.

Fletcher’s federal public defender Melinda Yamaga did not return a call today seeking comment.

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  • And why shouldn’t he get his cash back? This is a murder trial, not a money laundering or drug trial…that cash is not evidence of any sort. How’s he supposed to come up with bail money now? That $10K is good for $100K of bail. Our government is the biggest crooks sometimes.

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