U.S. won’t extradite wife of diplomat who killed British teen in wrong-way crash

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The U.S. government has declined a request to extradite a U.S. diplomat’s wife who killed a 19-year-old motorcyclist while driving on the wrong side of the road in England, a State Department official said.Harry Dunn.Courtesy of the Dunn FamilyAnne Sacoolas, 42, returned to the United States three weeks after the August crash near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire that killed motorcyclist Harry Dunn.The U.S. State Department has said Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. intelligence office, cannot be extradited because she is covered by diplomatic immunity.”If the United States were to grant the U.K.’s extradition request, it would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent,” a spokesperson for the State Department said Thursday.Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.”The United States government again expresses its sincere condolences and sympathy to the Dunn family for the loss of their son,” the State Department spokesperson said.Sacoolas has been charged in the United Kingdom with causing death by dangerous driving.She has said she cooperated with authorities at the scene of the accident and later at her home and laterexpressed her “deepest sympathies and apologies for this tragic accident,” to Dunn’s parents.His family welcomed the criminal charge against Sacoolas when it was first announced in December.”We feel that we’ve taken a huge step in the start of achieving the promise to Harry that we made,” his mother, Charlotte Charles, said.She said then that the family assumed it would be easy to get justice for her son considering the circumstances and “we had no idea it was going to be this hard and it would take this long.”Dunn’s family has been campaigning for Sacoolas to face justice and traveled to Washington, D.C., to make their case. They met President Donald Trump in October and were given what they called a “bombshell” offer to meet Sacoolas in the White House, which they declined.Sacoolas’ lawyer Amy Jeffress has previously said that Sacoolas would not return voluntarily to face a potential jail sentence in the “terrible but unintentional accident.””A potential penalty of 14 years imprisonment is simply not a proportionate response,” Jeffress said in a statement at the time. “We have been in contact with the U.K. authorities about ways in which Anne could assist with preventing accidents like this from happening in the future, as well as her desire to honor Harry’s memory.”In January when the U.K. formally demanded that Sacoolas be extradited, Jeffress said that “Anne is devastated by this tragic accident and would do anything she could to bring Harry back” but that the U.S. government had made it clear any extradition request would be denied.Abigail Williams Phil HelselPhil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.



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