Vancouver Island’s Anthony Michael Kubica will be before a California court in Riverside County on Jan. 24.
The court date for Kubica, from Shawnigan Lake, who was extradited to the United States to answer to murder and kidnapping charges several weeks ago, will be a felony settlement conference.
John Hall, a public information officer with Riverside County’s district attorney’s office, said the hearing’s name does not necessarily mean there will be a settlement in the case at the time.
“It is a hearing at which both sides and the court can meet to be sure things are proceeding,” he said.
“So there will still need to be a preliminary hearing at which we present some of the evidence to a judge who then determines if there is sufficient evidence for a defendant to stand trial and on what charges. There is no date scheduled yet for the preliminary hearing in this case.”
Hall said Kubica is being held at a detention center in Murrieta, California, in lieu of $1 million bail.
Kubica had spent approximately eight months in a Canadian jail last year after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled there was enough evidence for him to be extradited to face charges of murder and kidnapping of Palm Springs resident Marie Darling, a 78-year-old wealthy widow who disappeared from her home 28 years ago.
After the court’s ruling, the case went to Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould whose approval is required for an extradition to take place after a judicial process determines there is enough evidence for a suspect to face charges in another country.
It took almost eight months for the minister’s approval for Kubica’s extradition.
According to the declaration in support of an arrest warrant for Kubica that was filed with the Superior Court of California in Oct. 2017, Darling’s body was found by hikers by the side of a highway shortly after her disappearance 28 years ago in a sleeping bag with her feet wrapped in duct tape.
An autopsy performed on the body found the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.
More than $184,000 was transferred out of Darling’s Swiss bank account to an account in Anguilla that Kubica, who lived and operated a company in Palm Springs at the time, had allegedly opened around the same time the body was found.