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Extradition orders signed for Vaughn

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Christopher Vaughn

By AP/KWMU

St. Charles, MO – The governors of Missouri and Illinois have signed an order to return a man to Illinois to face charges that he killed his wife and three children.

It's still not clear, though, exactly when Christopher Vaughn's extradition order will go before a judge in Missouri, but officials in both states indicated the matter could be handled swiftly, perhaps as early as Tuesday.

"We are hopeful in the very near future that he could be delivered here to the Will County Jail to start the rosecution," Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow said Monday from Joliet, Ill.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt signed the extradition order Monday, the same day a St. Charles County judge revoked a $1 million cash bond for Vaughn who wore an orange jail uniform, handcuffs and leg irons and said nothing during a brief court hearing.

Vaughn, 32, was arrested Saturday at a St. Charles funeral home just hours before a memorial service for 34-year-old Kimberly Vaughn and the couple's children, Abigayle, 12, Cassandra, 11, and Blake, 8.

They were found shot to death June 14 in the family's parked sport utility vehicle along a service road near Channahon, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago, after a wounded Christopher Vaughn flagged down a motorist.

Vaughn is jailed in Missouri as an out-of-state fugitive, and prosecutors in Illinois have charged him with eight counts of first-degree murder two for each victim.

He must be extradited to face the murder charges; Monday's hearing concerned only the fugitive charge.

Vaughn's extradition attorney, David Waltrip, said his client intends to plead not guilty to the fugitive count and had not retained an attorney to represent him on the Illinois murder counts. Waltrip has said Vaughn would challenge extradition and said as of Monday afternoon he had not seen any documents on the issue.

Glasgow said he was confident any challenge would not significantly delay Vaughn's return to Illinois.

Once Vaughn is returned, Glasgow said his office would seek a grand jury indictment. Meanwhile, he said his office is convening a committee to determine whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

Vaughn's next court date on the fugitive count is July 25, but St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas said the charge would be dropped when Vaughn is returned to Illinois.

After spending nearly an hour with Vaughn at the St. Charles County Jail on Monday, Waltrip said his client was doing "as well as could be expected under the circumstances."

Vaughn was under surveillance by jail staff, but was not on an official suicide watch, according to Waltrip and jail administrators. They were unaware of any visits to Vaughn from family members.

Illinois authorities have not divulged a possible motive for the slayings, saying only that numerous interviews, forensic evidence, computer files and phone records led them to conclude that Christopher Vaughn killed his family.

Vaughn, a computer security consultant, had superficial gunshot wounds in the leg and arm, and his 9 mm handgun was found at the scene, authorities said. Kimberly Vaughn was shot once and the children each were shot twice, authorities said.

Prosecutors say Vaughn voluntarily met with investigators three times to answer questions before his arrest.

Originally from Missouri, the Vaughn family lived in Washington state before moving to the Chicago area about two years ago. They first lived in Aurora before buying a spacious house in Oswego last spring.

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