Returning the man accused of fatally shooting Shelby police Officer Tim Brackeen from Rhode Island could take a month, Cleveland County District Attorney Mike Miller said.
Authorities would have already taken Irving Lucien Fenner Jr. to Cleveland County, but Fenner contested his extradition in a R.I. courtroom on Thursday.
As a result, Gov. Pat McCrory will have to formally request that R.I. Gov. Gina Raimondo have Fenner transferred to North Carolina, Miller said.
A team from Miller’s office compiled the required documents to make a “formal request of extradition” to McCrory, Miller said Friday, several hours before Brackeen’s funeral at Shelby High’s Keeter Stadium.
“North Carolina will continue to pursue extradition using all legal means that are available,” McCrory spokesman Graham Wilson said in a statement to the Observer on Saturday. “Governor McCrory will sign the extradition request as soon as we receive it from the Attorney General’s office.
“In the meantime, the Governor and his wife, Ann, continue to offer their prayers to the Brackeen family, Shelby law enforcement, and the entire Shelby community.”
Because Fenner opposed extradition, Rhode Island requires an indictment against Fenner for Raimondo to issue a “governor’s warrant” transferring his custody, a spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office told the Observer. Miller said his office secured the grand jury indictment against Fenner last Monday.
Miller is seeking the death penalty against Fenner, 23, of Grover.
Fenner is accused of shooting Brackeen while the officer attempted to serve warrants on him on Sept. 10. Brackeen died Monday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Fenner was arrested early Wednesday at his uncle Corry Peeler’s apartment in Coventry, R.I., Rhode Island Attorney General spokeswoman Amy Kempe said. Fenner obeyed police commands to leave the apartment and was arrested without incident, according to the Rhode Island State Police.
Fenner will remain in the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute in Cranston, R.I., until his extradition is resolved, Kempe said.
Peeler and his girlfriend, Hope Wyman, both 39, were charged in Rhode Island with harboring a fugitive, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, Kempe said.
Fenner’s half-sister Jolisa Peeler, 26, of Providence, R.I., faces a North Carolina charge of accessory after the fact of first-degree murder for having driven to North Carolina to get Fenner and taking him to Rhode Island, Kempe said.
Police used cellphone analysis to find Fenner, authorities said.
Police said they went to Peeler’s home late Monday, but Fenner was not there. Jolisa Peeler was taken into custody at the home. She waived extradition on Thursday and was flown to North Carolina. Miller and law enforcement officers accompanied her.
Jolisa Peeler was in the Cleveland County Jail on a $250,000 bail on Saturday and has an Oct. 11 court date.
Also charged with accessory after the fact are Deitra Morris and Fenner’s half-sister Casey Fenner of Long Island, N.Y.
Morris, 37, was in the Cleveland County Jail on $250,000 bail and has an Oct. 11 court date. Casey Fenner has agreed to waive extradition, but it is unclear when she will be transferred to Cleveland County.
Casey Fenner “was actively involved in removing Irving Fenner from Cleveland County,” Miller said, declining to say how authorities believe Casey Fenner helped Irving Fenner leave the county.
Authorities also charged Ashley Hamrick, 28, with felony harboring an escapee. She was in the Cleveland County Jail on a $100,000 bail on Saturday and also is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 11.
Hamrick is accused of harboring Fenner, knowing he was wanted, when Brackeen attempted to serve warrants on him early Saturday, Observer news partner WBTV reported. Fenner had outstanding warrants for first-degree burglary, robbery with a dangerous weapon and second-degree kidnapping, the station reported.
A Go Fund Me page to help Brackeen’s wife and daughter had raised $34,000 toward a $50,000 goal by Saturday afternoon.