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GETTING ANSWERS: When will Sean Grebinger be extradited back to the United States

Sean Grebinger.jpg
Posted at 10:34 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 08:28:59-05

Sean Grebinger remains in a prison in Brazil as he awaits extradition back to Lafayette to face charges in the disappearance of his estranged wife who's been missing since 2013.

Grebinger was arrested February 18 as an international fugitive after Brazil's Federal Police say American authorities have presented substantial evidence that he murdered Crystal Grebinger and hid her body.

We're told extradition from an outside country is a lengthy process and Grebinger won't be back stateside anytime soon.

KATC is Getting Answers from a former federal prosecutor about the extradition process.

Defense attorney Brett Grayson was once on the other side of the bench. He served 30 years as a federal prosecutor. Grayson has handled extradition cases before, working to bring defendants back to the U.S. from Guatemala and Canada.

Grayson said in his experience, prosecutors have to provide sufficient evidence before extradition can begin.

"I had to go through the Department of Justice in Washington. The DOJ sent that to the State Department, then the State Department sent it to the corresponding agency," Grayson said.

He went on to say local law enforcement and the district attorney's office is typically removed from the international extradition process. The FBI will have to go through the State Department before authorities connect with anyone in Brazil.

Grayson said, "Brazil does not have a reputation for quick extradition of anybody, but because of his recent arrest, it may cause them to move a little quicker."

It could take years before Grebinger is brought back to the United States.

"If they bring him on a flight back from Brazil, he will be met somewhere by Federal authorities most likely the FBI. He might be temporarily housed in a federal facility until they can hand him over," Grayson said.

KATC did reach out to the District Attorney's Office to get more details on what's next in this case, but we have not heard back. This morning, a Lafayette Police Department spokesperson confirmed they did not send any investigators to Brazil.