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Cornbleet Suspect Arrested in Caribbean

By Chuck Sudo in Miscellaneous on Aug 15, 2007 2:22PM

2007_04_cornbleet.jpgThe news broke late yesterday of an arrest in the case of Dr. David Cornbleet, the dermatologist who was murdered in his Loop office last October. Authorities filed a warrant for 29-year-old Hans R. Peterson, who was arrested August 6 on a federal fugitive warrant for unlawful flight on the French Caribbean island of St. Martin. After his arrest in St. Martin, Peterson, who lists his occupation as an "Internet gambler," allegedly confessed to the crime because he was prescribed acne medication by Cornbleet four years earlier that Peterson thought made him impotent. It always comes back to manhood with some, doesn't it?

The arrest should bring some measure of relief to Cornbleet's family. You'll recall that Cornbleet's son, Jon, started a Myspace page and had security film footage from the night of his father's murdere digitally enhanced in an effort to find the killer. While they might be breathing easier today, getting Peterson back to the States to stand trial may prove to be complicated. Sources familiar with the case say that Peterson recently obtained a French passport in St. Martin, claiming his mother was French.

France does not have the death penalty in capital cases and does not extradite citizens to countries to face criminal charges that could lead to a death sentence. However, a line item in France's extradition treaty with the US states a French national's status in extradition is determined not by the date they became a citizen, but by the date of the alleged crime. It's also possible that, if the French insist that Peterson not face the death penalty if he's extradited, prosecutors could promise not to pursue it after conferring with Cornbleet's family.