Mom petitions Cali. gov. to extradite daughter's accused killer
Feb 10, 2014 11:49 PM
Reported By Joseph Pleasant, Reporter - bio | email
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
On February 22, 1996, the world changed forever for the families of Melissa Chilton and Tiffany Campbell, both 18 at the time.
On that day, police said Patrick Streater, Campbell's former boyfriend, stabbed both of the teen girls to death inside the Exotic Tan for Men at 1805 Church Street.
It took 17 years for police to charge Streater for the murders.
On February 21, 2013 almost 17 years to the day after the murders, Metro police announced Streater's indictment on two counts of premeditated first degree murder.
Streater is currently serving time in a California prison for robbery and is not scheduled to complete that sentence until January 2016.
Melissa Chilton's mother, Gail Chilton, wants California to extradite Streater back to Tennessee now instead of waiting another two years before he is in a Tennessee jail.
"I was naïve and thought that when we charged him he would immediately be brought back and we would get going with it," she said. "Waited for two or three months, I felt really good and kind of pushed everything aside."
But as the anniversary of his indictment approached, Chilton asked prosecutors when he would be brought back to Tennessee.
"His official release date isn't until January of 2016, that's two more years," she said. "That is just not acceptable at all."
She continued, "I don't care what crimes he has committed in California, and there is a list of them. Double homicide is not on that list. We have the trump card here."
Davidson County prosecutors said they are limited in what they can say about the case against Streater because it is open and active.
The District Attorney's Office did, however, release a statement that said, "Patrick Streater is currently incarcerated in a California prison and is serving a sentence on charges he was convicted of there. Once he has completed his sentence, we will extradite him to Tennessee to face the murder charges here. His sentence in California is currently set to run through January 2016. If something develops, that results in the California sentence ending prior to that, we can arrange to get him here when that ends."
Chilton is not stopping with the Davidson County District Attorney's office. She plans to personally petition California's Governor Edmund Brown Jr.
"If he has the power to let people out early, he has the power to extradite Patrick Streater back to Tennessee where he belongs," Chilton said. "We can feed him his last supper if that's what needs to be done."
California's prison system is in crisis.
Overcrowding in California's prisons led to the United States Supreme Court ordering the prisons reduce inmate populations.
The state is even farming inmates out to state prisons in other states to reduce headcounts.
We called the California governor's office to find out why they would not send Streater back to Tennessee early when they have an issue with overcrowding and they are already housing prisoners out of state at tax payer expense.
The office of the governor released a statement that said, "The State of Tennessee has placed a ‘hold' on Streater, which means that when he finishes his sentence here in California [estimated to be in January 2016], he will be extradited to Tennessee to face the additional charges against him. If Streater refuses to waive extradition, the Governor of Tennessee could formally demand extradition, and the Governor of California could then comply."
Chilton plans to send the governor a portfolio of pictures of her daughter to compel him to look into the case.
"My concern is, in two years they are going to forget to call us and they are going to let him out," she said. "Then what do we do? Hunt two more years and find him, if we do find him."
Chilton and Campbell's mother, Deborah Edmonds, have waited nearly 20 years for justice and aren't willing to wait two more years to see the lengthy trial process begin in Tennessee.
"We just can't wait. I am not going to wait two more years," she said. "I am going to get my 401K out, get on a plane and go out to California."
She continued, "Melissa has a three-year-old nephew she never got to see. She was cheated out of a life."