Sheinbein Evidence Prepared for Israel

Article excerpt

Montgomery County prosecutors have 80 witnesses and evidence, including propane tanks, matches and an electric saw, ready to send to Israel if Samuel Sheinbein goes on trial on charges of killing and dismembering Alfredo Enrique Tello Jr.

Attorneys for Mr. Sheinbein, who was 17 when Mr. Tello, 19, was killed in September 1997, have less than 25 days to study the prospective evidence and testimony. Then, Mr. Sheinbein must decide if he will go to trial or enter a plea.

Although disappointed that Israel's Supreme Court refused to allow Mr. Sheinbein, now 18, to be extradited, State's Attorney Douglas Gansler of Montgomery County repeated Wednesday that prosecutors will cooperate completely with Israeli prosecutors.

But the process is complicated because officials at the U.S. State Department and Israeli Embassy must work out the details.

For example, Montgomery County officials need to reconfirm that Israel will pay the costs of sending evidence and witnesses, Mr. Gansler said.

Also, trial procedures in the United States and Israel differ.

In Israel, three judges, instead of a jury, hear the case, and trials are not continuous. One segment is presented one day, and other segments are presented sporadically after that.

Mr. Sheinbein's trial could take as long as nine months.

Many of the witnesses, whose testimony would have to be translated into Hebrew, and much of the evidence is expected to be presented in the Israeli court as they would in Montgomery County Circuit Court. But some witnesses and evidence might not be required under Israel's judicial procedures. …