After having been extradited to the US, a Virginia judge denied bail to seven suspects accused of murdering a DEA agent in Colombia’s capital, Bogota, local media reported on Thursday.
In the eyes of the American justice system, the suspected murderers request for bail was denied as they lack legal immigration status, and therefore don’t have the required papers for a judge to complete the request, according to Colombia’s Semana news magazine.
“Given the lack of information, as to the offense of which they are accused, there are no conditions for releasing them,” said Judge Ivan Davis, who added that it was for public safety reasons they were denied bail.
Next week, the seven suspects will appear before Judge Gerald Lee to formally hear the crimes listed against them, and they will have the opportunity to plead their innocence or guilt, according to Semana.
On June 20, 2013, DEA agent Terry Watson was getting into a cab in Bogota after watching an NBA Finals game at a bar when another taxi pulled up behind his and several men jumped out.
Watson was stabbed, allegedly by Edgar Javier Bello Murillo, alias “Payaso,” and later died from his wounds, according to Colombia’s Radio Santa Fe.
The DEA agent fell victim to a scheme known as “millionaire rides” in which taxi drivers rob their passengers by taking them to ATMs and forcing them to empty their bank accounts .
The US court established that although Watson was killed while not on duty, his death could threaten future collaboration between the US and Colombia, according to Radio Santa Fe.