Wednesday, November 10, 2010
A Salina city official today waived extradition to California to face charges of murder. The crime happened more than 15 years ago in California, but Tuesday, the cold case reopened in Kansas.
54-year-old Paul Curry has been working as the city's building official in Salina for less than nine months. He lived West of Salina in a home with his wife and grandson.
A Salina newsletter announcing his employment in March shows he had impressive experience in his field. But what didn't show up on his resume or in his background check, was that he was the prime suspect for the murder of his wife. That information didn't appear because the investigation was ongoing until Tuesday.
"This was a huge surprise to everyone, and it left many of our folks sort of wondering about things this afternoon. So, not something that we expect," said Salina City Manager Jason Gage.
Prosecutors say Paul Curry poisoned his wife of two years, Linda Curry. The crime happened on July 10, 1994 in Orange County, California. Curry has been a suspect in the case since that day, but it wasn't until Tuesday that law enforcement and prosecutors had enough evidence to file the case against him. The fact that he was a suspect didn't show up on the background check the city of Salina performed because the investigation was ongoing.
"Obviously it feels good to be able to say that we were able to charge somebody with a crime, because we believe that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed his wife," said Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office says Curry killed his wife for financial gain. He received about $400,000 from her life insurance policy. Since her murder, Curry has lived in Las Vegas, and became Salina's Building Official this past March. All these years the Orange County D.A.'s Office has been keeping an eye on him even as the case went cold..
"At the end of the day it was good 'ole fashioned police work. They kept working the case, they never forgot about the case, and we were able now to file charges against him," said Baytieh.
California authorities now have 30 days to return Curry to face charges. If convicted, Curry faces life in prison without parole.
A Salina official has been arrested for the 1994 murder of his wife, police announced today.
Paul Curry was arrested on an Orange County, California District Court warrant in connection with the June 10, 1994 murder of his wife Linda. Her death was ruled a homicide by poisoning.
Curry has served as the Building official for the City of Salina since March 1st. Prior to Salina he worked in North Las Vegas, Nevada. He will be placed on administrative leave.
Curry was booked into the Saline County Jail, where he awaits extradition.