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A transgender accused of murder kills SCOC's final appeal against extradition to the United States



The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the appeal of a transgender woman who has been fighting for years to stop her extradition in order to face charges of murder in Washington.

Kevin David Patterson – who is identified as a social media by Rachel – is charged with murdering her 57-year-old roommate Richard Bergesen on death on 17 September 2014.

Patterson is accused of killing a man in his home in Sammamish, Wash, using a shovel, about 20 miles east of Seattle.

US authorities say that Patterson, then a 20-year-old, and his 18-year-old American counterpart Christopher Shade, fled to Canada on the day of his killing.

They allegedly stole Bergesen's wallet and drove the victim of BMW to the north before they were driving through the barbed wire fence somewhere along the border to enter Canada illegally, according to documents filed by the US Department of Justice.

Both were arrested later in Abbotsford, BC.

Shade was returned to the United States. In police talks, both suspects blamed each other for the murder. Both of them said that Bergesen had some kind of sexual assault on Patterson.

Shade pleaded guilty to second degree murder, and is expected to remain in prison by 2036.

Richard Bergesen, 57, was found dead in his home in 2014. (Richard Bergesen / Facebook)

Patterson, who has dual US-Canadian citizenship, remained in detention at B.C. in the women's facility for the past five years, fighting for extradition to face charges of first degree murder, first-degree robberies and theft of a motor vehicle.

Since July 2015, Patterson has complained about the court's revision of the extradition order for various reasons, including the possibility of facing death sentences and concerns due to its indigenous heritage.

In a letter to the Federal Justice Minister, Patterson claimed that her surrender to the United States was "unjust" and "oppressive."

However, in 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty would not be applied in its case, and that its indigenous origin would be considered in the US punishment if it was found guilty.

In response to one of eight Patterson's submissions to the Justice Ministry, in March 2015, the minister concluded that the maximum potential sentence that could be imposed on convictions, 33 years and two months, would not "shock the Canadian conscience".

The death penalty was revoked in Washington in 2018.

Patterson has lost all the previous attempts to stop her extradition.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected her final petition for reconsidering her extradition request, filed in March 2018.

Patterson has argued that as a transgender person he should have a guarantee that he will be placed in jail for women and protected from assault and sexual assault.

"Not only is Kevin Gay, he is a transgender person, it represents a real risk for her in prison," says the request submitted to the Minister in 2018.

The Supreme Court rejected her appeal in earlier lawsuits. Judgment of the Appeals Chamber, which states that it is not necessary for the Minister to seek diplomatic assurances on how the state criminal bodies in Washington will assess and locate the prisoner.

It is unlikely that Patterson will be extradited at any time soon because he is in the process of appealing to B.C. Court of Appeal.

Her lawyer refused to comment.

Ian McCleod, at the Justice Ministry's email, said that Patterson's worries about how to be located in the Washington State Prison were carefully evaluated.

"The minister has been told that Washington has strong policies and protective measures to respond to specific housing needs of transgender persons in criminal justice institutions, and the minister has therefore concluded that such a conviction is not necessary."

The department also said that Patterson filed yet another request for a judicial review, which remains unresolved.

Kevin Patterson – who is identified as Rachel on social media – fights for US extradition five years after being charged with murdering a former cemetary. (Facebook)


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