Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Suspect has extradition hearing
Will determine fate of man accused of killing a server during Fantasy Fest

Prosecutors may have a better idea today if the man Key West police say killed a New Town restaurant server intends to fight extradition to the Florida Keys.

Peter Erik Hedvall was taken into custody by Waukesha County deputies near Milwaukee on Dec. 21 and he remains in the Waukesha County Jail under no bail awaiting extradition to Monroe County.

Hedvall, 25, who could fight extradition, has a hearing scheduled today at 8:30 a.m. at the Waukesha County courthouse, but whether or not he will announce plans to fight Florida's request that he be sent here remains to be seen, said Monroe County Assistant State Attorney Val Winter.

Typically, defendants can do one of two things when challenging extradition.

They can attempt to convince a judge they are not the person the other state wants, even if they have the same name, in which case the burden is on the state to provide evidence linking the defendant to the case. Or defendants can argue that they were not in the state when the crime occurred.

Key West police claim they have DNA evidence from the victim's blood being on Hedvall's clothes.

In neither scenario is the homicide of 32-year-old Jonathan Alvarado in question, Winter said. An extradition hearing would deal only with Hedvall being forced to travel to Florida to stand trial. The process could take two months.

Winter did not know Wednesday where the state of Wisconsin stands on the issue, as Waukesha County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Osborne -- the prosecutor assigned to Hedvall in that state -- is on vacation this week, according to a person who answered the phone at that office.

Hedvall apparently had not yet hired an attorney or been assigned a public defender as of Wednesday, according to docket information in Waukesha County.

Monroe County prosecutors would get involved in the matter should Hedvall fight extradition, which would lead Florida Gov. Rick Scott to issue a governor's warrant to force him to come and here and stand trial, at which point Hedvall could choose to argue against such a move.

Hedvall has yet to be officially charged and the case is expected to go before a grand jury in January, Winter said. Grand jurors could hand down an indictment of murder, return a lesser charge or return a "no true bill," which means they find insufficient evidence to indict.

Alvarado, a server at La Trattoria Oceanside and eight-year resident of Key West, was found dead at 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 28. His body was lying beneath a commercial food truck parked in a driveway at 1019 Grinnell St.

Alvarado had been drinking at a nearby bar where a witness reportedly saw him talking to a man wearing a white suit on Grinnell Street outside the bar.

Key West police released no motive for the killing and Winter has declined to speculate on the matter.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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