Longo Back in Newport

Article excerpt

Byline: SUSAN PALMER The Register-Guard

NEWPORT - Christian Longo waived extradition in Texas and returned under guard late Tuesday to the coastal town where the bodies of his wife and three children were discovered dumped in two nearby bays.

Longo arrived at the Lincoln County Jail shortly before midnight and was scheduled for arraignment this morning on aggravated murder charges in the four deaths.

He is under maximum security - locked in his cell for 21 hours a day, said Sheriff John O'Brien. He declined to say whether Longo would have contact with other inmates or whether he would be kept on a suicide watch.

"We will assess his behavior and moods and adjust as we need to," O'Brien said.

About two-dozen bystanders waited outside in the cold to see Longo brought to the jail in an unmarked sheriff's sedan escorted by a second unmarked car and at least two Newport police cars.

Lincoln County District Attorney Bernice Barnett has declined to disclose details about the crime, the evidence against Longo, a possible motive or whether she would seek the death penalty against him.

It's unclear if authorities will reveal any of that information in today's proceedings.

As many as 30 officers from a half-dozen different agencies have worked on the case since Longo's 4-year-old son, Zachary, was found Dec. 19 in an Alsea Bay inlet in Waldport. Sadie Ann Longo, 3, was found Dec. 22 in water nearby. The children's mother, MaryJane Longo, 34, and 2-year-old Madison were found Dec. 27 in Yaquina Bay.

Longo was escorted back to Oregon by two officers from the Lincoln County Major Crime Team, the sheriff said. Longo flew into Portland on a commercial flight from Houston and sat in the last row near a window. Police kept clear the three rows ahead of him.

"Having Christian Longo in custody is a major burden off all law enforcement agencies," O'Brien said.

The 27-year-old fugitive was arrested Sunday in Mexico by about 20 Mexican officers and FBI agents, who got a tip from a tourist who had met Longo at a hostel in Cancun.

The FBI had placed Longo on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on Friday.

Longo waived formal extradition proceedings in Mexico and was flown to Houston on Monday. During a brief appearance Tuesday in Harris County Court in Houston, Longo waived extradition to Oregon. …