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Oregon man continues to fight extradition on Frankel murder charge

The Oregon man charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a Kent city employee remains in a Portland jail nearly 10 weeks after his arrest.

William L. Phillip Jr., 30, continues to fight his extradition to Washington to face the murder charge for the May 21 stabbing death of Seth Frankel. Phillip is scheduled to appear in a Multnomah County Circuit Court Feb. 18 for another extradition hearing.

"After the hearing, we'll know how much longer it might take for Phillip to be returned to King County," said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, in an e-mail.

Auburn Police – with the help of the U.S. Marshals Service – arrested Phillip Dec. 10 in Portland in connection with Frankel’s death. Frankel, 41, a video-program coordinator for the city of Kent, was killed in his Auburn home. He was discovered the following day by a neighbor who was checking on his welfare, and who looked through a window, spotting the body.

Many suspects waive extradition, which means that a suspect agrees to go with authorities from another jurisdiction willingly, thus making an extradition hearing unnecessary.

Because Phillip has fought extradition, the governors from each state must sign papers to allow the proceeding. Phillip remains in the Multnomah County Jail in Portland. He is being held on $1 million bail.

"This defendant has been served with the governor's warrant and goes back to court again (Feb. 18)," said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for the King County prosecutor's office. "The Oregon court must verify the warrant and he (Phillip) has the ability to challenge the warrant."

Phillip can file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus at the Feb. 18 hearing. The petition must show that the court ordering his imprisonment made a legal or factual error about his identity or the murder charge.

"If he does not file a writ, he should be returned to us soon there after," Goodhew said.

King County prosecutors will reschedule the arraignment once Phillip has gone through extradition proceedings. Phillip was supposed to be arraigned Dec. 21 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent on a first-degree murder charge. That arraignment has been postponed.

"There is no doubt Mr. Phillip will be returned," Goodhew said. "The question is when."

The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office is assisting King County prosecutors with the extradition of Phillips.

King County prosecutors allege that Phillip, a former boyfriend of the woman Frankel dated, drove to Auburn to kill Frankel because he was angry someone else was dating the woman. Detectives connected Phillip to the murder through a blood-stained towel found at Frankel’s house as well as cell-phone records that put Phillips near the home May 21.

Frankel joined the city of Kent in 2007 after 11 years as a director of production at a PBS station in Eureka, Calif.

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