Shawn Overstreet, Portland, Ore., Received the warning at the end of a weekend.
The GPS device of a 21-year-old student who was about to be tried for manslaughter had been cut near a sand and gravel site in the city
The student, Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, a Saudi citizen, who had a government grant in the United States, had asked the deputy sheriff if he could use the library at the community college for which he was studying future exams. She had said yes.
Now she wanted to go to Overstreet to let him know what had happened. Overstreets first thought was that Noorah had killed himself.
But a search of the site with a cadaver dog had found only the monitor. Surveillance material pulled close by the investigators showed a black SUV driving up a road near the quarry and then leaving shortly after the wristband was shortened, Overstreet said.
A year later, the Saudi government confirmed what Overstreet had feared that Noorah had returned to Saudi Arabia despite a passport failure, said Overstreet. Overstreet has developed a working theory: Noorah escaped with the help of the Saudi government.
The unusual case has attracted a lot of attention since it was reported by the Oregoner this week. In the midst of international anger over the Washington Post murder, which Colombian columnist Jamal Khashoggi contributed to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October, Noorah's case would be proof of the impunity Saudi Arabia is operating across the world, though The Saudi Association Is Proved
"I have had people cut their GPS bracelets; that happens over and over again, a pair of scissors, "said Overstreet. "But these are people who stay, they are not going anywhere. , , , I had never committed such a heinous crime on a foreign private person and left.
The case started on a hot summer day in August 2016, when a 15-year-old girl, Fallon Smart, was hit by a raging car road in a densely populated area from Portland. Overstreet said the investigators found that the car was about one block from the accident at 71 mph, and a crash reconstruction brought the speed to 55-60 mph at the time of impact (19659015). Road, which has a top speed of 25 mph, in the middle lane lane, Overstreet said. Noorah was charged as a driver.
Smart was hit by the right passenger side of the car; Her head hit the windshield.
"It was a big blow," Overstreet said. "It broke in the windshield. Noorah had a passenger and this guy had blood and glass [on him]. She was pretty much thrown away.
Fallon's mother had been in the area to pick her up, and Fallon crossed the street from a bubble tea shop to meet her.
The car crashed after the impact, but His license plate fell on the scene, Overstreet said. The car returned to the scene where Noorah was questioned by the police.
His behavior disturbed officers and witnesses at the scene, according to Overstreet, who was called to the scene.
"He stopped and got out." I go to where Fallon was traveling. And then someone shouted at him and all he said was, "Is she dead?" And the woman who yelled at him basically said, "Yeah, you idiot, you killed her," and he stood there, "said Overstreet." When I got there, I saw him, and his behavior has me very disturbed. Just because he was like this: "Okay, can I go home now?"
With a bail
Noorah was charged with manslaughter, beatings, and reckless driving. His bail was initially set at around $ 250,000, which means he was able to disembark after putting 10 percent or about $ 25,000 under the Oregon early release laws. However, a judge later increased the bail to about $ 1 million. Overstreet said he was still worried about Noorah as a flight risk. The Saudi government has increased the money for the bail, Overstreet said.
"Shortly after this happened, the lawyers arrived with a $ 100,000 check from the Saudi government," Overstreet said. "I saw that check and thought, 'Oh, now it's off! he will be gone. The defense lawyer has assured me that he is a good kid and he stays, but still I asked the judge to switch him to GPS surveillance. He was detained at home and was only allowed to go to the mosque and school.
Noora's passport was also confiscated, Overstreet said.
Overstreet said the financial transaction for Noora's bail had contributed to his suspicions.
The Saudi government gave the money to Noorah, whose lawyer deposited the check in a trust account and then issued a check in his name, Overstreet said. That ultimately made him, and not Saudi Arabia, responsible for the remainder of the $ 900,000 bail now owed.
"I thought that was a sneaky step to make sure they did not have to pay the rest," Overstreet said.
The first-degree manslaughter that confronted Noorah meant that the prosecutors believed that Noorah had acted with "extreme indifference to the value of human life." If convicted of the charges, he would have seen a minimum of 10 years in prison.
The Procuratorate offered Noorah a deal: Confessing to second-degree manslaughter for a mandatory minimum sentence of six years and three months.
Overstreet said that this was the turning point in the case. when it became clear that Noorah was likely to face significant detention.
He believes the case of his office had been robust; The prosecution had 20 eyewitnesses of about 50 people who were in the area at the time of the accident, as well as video evidence.
"I think they were waiting for what would happen," Overstreet said of the Saudi Arabian government.
Noorah had a flawless record for the many months he was released when the case moved toward trial in June 2017, Overstreet said. Therefore, the sheriff's deputy gave him permission to study in the library two weeks before the trial. He was supposed to be monitored 24 hours a day, but the supervisor did not seem to be in town and was alerted the next day, Overstreet said.
Overstreet said he has no definitive evidence that Saudi officials have helped Noorah escape.
Investigators lost the SUV to video at some point after leaving the quarry. The street she was traveling on, Division Street, is directly connected to Interstate 205, which leads to Portland Airport in the north.
US. The marshals tracked the origin of the SUV to the airport, said Aaron Pfenning, an Oregon MP, opposite the Washington Post. He said the Marshals Service believes he is in contact with a car service or car rental company.
Noorah was back in Saudi Arabia seven days after the bracelet was cut, Pfenning said. It was not until about a year after the disappearance of Noorah in June 2017 that Saudi officials told investigators from the Department of Homeland Security that had contacted them that he was back in his homeland, Pfenning said.
Further information for Saudi officials remained unanswered, "he said.
Overstreet said he had developed his theory following the revelation from Saudi Arabia, saying that he believes Noorah will have a new passport with a different name
Pfenning said the marshals said Noorah boarded a flight back to Saudi Arabia, but did not know how.Overstreet said the investigators had checked the airport records for commercial and private flights, but found no evidence that Noorah later
"I can not imagine that Noorah could have arranged this, and has returned to Saudi Arabia with his resources," he said. "He has no."
The Mystery Continues
After Noorah disappeared, investigators found a packed bag in the family home where he had been staying, Overstreet said.
Noorah had received a state scholarship of $ 1,800 a month since he lived with the family. Overstreet said that Noorah's defense attorney had said that his mother was a teacher and his father worked with a tractor-trailer.
"I assume this guy has money and has access to money in Saudi Arabia," Overstreet said. "Whether they were connected beyond the parents, I do not know. We know that Noorah did not have much money. I think it was $ 80 in his account. "
Amos Guiora, a professor at the University of Utah and an expert in national security and international law, said the case was unusual, but not particularly surprising.
"In this context, yes, that's pretty offensive to international law or sovereignty," he said. "Is it offensive enough for Kushner to call the Crown Prince? Probably not. "
He mentioned the old news that dozens of well-connected Saudis had fled the US on chartered flights in the days following 9/11.
Normally, the norm dictates that countries respect the other's legal system, Guiora said: "But for those kinds of regimes that do not really understand the rule of law and have a deep distrust of our justice system, that's when it important for their own domestic reasons, nothing shocking at all.
A statement by the Saudi government, expelled by a spokesman for the embassy, states that it was Saudi policy to bail citizens who were detained in the United States while seeking this help.
The Embassy refused Abandoning Questions Asked If Government Asked Questions Officials were involved in Noorah's escape, saying only that "no travel document was issued by the Embassy or Consulate to Mr. Noorah."
Noorah has been studying in Portland since 2014 Terri Stanford, who housed Noorah in her home, told reporter Shane Dixon Kavanaugh that Noorah was one of the nicest people she'd ever met, saying she had suffered tremendously after an indictment, had stopped, the Oregonian
reported to eat and sleep and rarely have left his room.
"He has really reached a point where he could not function," Stanford said I thought there was no way he would survive the jail. "
Noorah's defender Ginger Mooney declined to comment on the case or give any information about the case, using privileged communication cited with a client
The FBI declined to comment on the case. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.
R. Brendan Dummigan, a lawyer representing Smart's mother Fawn Lengvenis in a lawsuit against Noorah, said the family could file a lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia.
For Overstreet, the case remains a sore point in his career A prosecutor.
He described the torments of Smart's family members as they waited through the ups and downs of the fall – discussions about a potential plea, later a possible trial – only to hear that Noorah had fled.
"It's the case I think about every day," Overstreet said. "This case is so outrageous because of the thing this guy saved."
Noorah remains a fled refugee wanted by the US Marshals Service.
Overstreet has no hope of seeing Noorah in a US courtroom soon. The United States has no extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia.
"Nothing will happen to him. He can just live his life and what that means for the family, "he said. "I think they are being sacrificed daily."
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