LONDON -- A man who for three years has blocked extradition from Britain will be returned to the United States this week to face charges of killing his girlfriend's parents, officials said Wednesday.
Jens Soering, 23, is expected to be flown back to the United States Friday to face charges in the slayings of the parents of his then-girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, a Home Office spokesman said.
Soering is accused of killing Derek and Nancy Haysom, who were found slashed and stabbed in their home in Bedford County, Va., near Roanoke, in 1985.
The son of a West German diplomat, Soering has been held in a London prison for three years while he launched a series of appeals and legal moves that blocked his extradition to the United States, the Home Office spokesman said.
Soering fought extradition based primarily on the fact he faced the electric chair if convicted of capital murder in Virginia. Neither Britain nor Soering's native West Germany has capital punishment.
Soering and Elizabeth Haysom were honor students at the University of Virginia when the slayings happened. They fled the country together later that year when they learned they were prime suspects.
In May 1986, the two were arrested in London on unrelated check fraud charges.
Haysom waived extradition, and in 1987 was sentenced to 90 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to helping plan the killings with Soering. Testimony at her trial revealed a troubled relationship with her parents, who also disapproved of the affair between Soering and their daughter.
Britain originally agreed to extradite Soering with 'limited assurances' that Bedford County Commonwealth's Attorney James Updike would make the trial judge and jury aware of its objection to capital punishment.
But in July 1989 the European Court of Human Rights blocked the extradition, saying that if Soering were convicted of capital murder, the long wait on death row would be 'inhuman and degrading.'
The following month then-Home Secretary Douglas Hurd announced Britain had agreed to extradite Soering to face 'non-capital murder charges' after an exchange of diplomatic notes in which the United States assured him they understood that, under international law agreements, Soering could not be executed.
The delays continued as Soering tried other appeals, but Detroit attorney Richard Neaton said last week Soering had decided to give up the fight.