HONOLULU (KHON2) — The suspect in the Hawaii Loa Ridge homicide case will soon be sent back to Hawaii to face murder charges, 23-year-old Juan Baron will travel the same way most of Hawaii’s visitors do, on a commercial flight. Lawyers and airlines said there are procedures in place so that most passengers never even notice.
It has been nearly a month since Baron was arrested in California in connection to the homicide of 73-year-old Gary Ruby. A Los Angeles County Prosecuting Attorney communications person said Baron will be extradited by April 13.
Lawyer Megan Kau said it is very likely Baron will travel on a commercial flight to Hawaii.
KHON2 asked Hawaiian Airlines about protocols for such transports, where regular everyday passengers will also be onboard. The airline said they have a security process in place but could not go into details.
Kau said all employees will be aware.
“The flight attendants the flight crew, the pilot the airlines will be informed that there is a convict on a place they will probably enter either first or last and then they will disembark either first or last,” said Kau.
Officers want to keep the attention to a minimum, but they will keep their eyes on the suspect during the entire flight, even escorting them to the bathroom.
Former Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said, “there’s no reason the passenger should be aware of it, other than the fact that the person may be handcuffed during flight or not, depending on the law enforcement officers and the safety judgments that they make when they’re doing that transport.”
Kollar is familiar with high-profile criminal cases, he was involved in the Lori Vallow case and extradition to Idaho. Vallow was accused of taking part in the murder of her two children.
“I think there are valid concerns around, you know, the kind of spectacle that could be associated with, you know, bringing that person through public areas in airports, whether it’s in California or in Hawaii,” said Kollar.
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Authorities said Baron took off to California amid an island-wide manhunt in early March. He will likely have his initial court appearance within the first two weeks of arriving back in Hawaii.