NEW BEDFORD — Florida prosecutors are beginning legal proceedings to return a 23-year-old Dartmouth woman to their state to face a second-degree murder charge, after she refused Wednesday to return voluntarily.
Greg Marcille, a prosecutor in the State Attorney's Office for Escambia, Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa counties in Florida, said Wednesday they have begun preparations for a Governor's warrant to compel the return of Desiree Jean Tedder.
READ THE MISSING PERSON REPORT ON PENSACOLA MURDER VICTIM DRULMAUERT MIMS.
Tedder is charged in the death of 23-year-old Drulmauert Depodrek Mims in Florida. Last week authorities found Mims' body buried in the backyard of a home on Sullivan Road in Escambia County, Florida. Mims was reported missing on March 29. His 2007 Cadillac CTS was found unlocked and unoccupied on April 1 on Lakewood Drive in Pensacola. Fla.
The only issue with a rendition is identification or proving that Tedder is the woman named in the Florida warrant, Marcille said.
Florida prosecutors and police will be compiling Tedder's fingerprints and photos and putting them in a packet that will be routed to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's office through the Florida Attorney General's office, he said.
"We are actively pursing bringing her back to Florida to face a charge of second-degree murder," Marcille said.
Florida prosecutors are satisfied the evidence shows Tedder is responsible for the death and they are confident in going forward, he said. He declined to discus the facts of what prosecutors allege Tedder did.
There is a 30-day deadline for Florida officials to complete the documentation and return Tedder to their state, but the deadline can be extended, he said.
Judge James J. McGovern ordered the 23-year-old Dartmouth woman held without bail when she appeared Wednesday in New Bedford District Court, although her detention was not without some suspense.
As Tedder, who was in handcuffs, was led away, she shouted, "I love you," to family in the courtroom.
Defense attorney John J. Connors said his client refuses to waive rendition and return voluntarily to Florida to face the second-degree murder charge.
The attorney also wanted McGovern to set bail on his client and said the use of a GPS monitoring device could be used to ensure the court always knows her whereabouts. "There's no reason, at this point, to deny bail," Connors said.
Bristol County prosecutor Christine Letsche said at Tedder's rendition hearing in New Bedford District Court that the suspect was a suspect early on in Mims' death.
McGovern said he wanted some documentation from Florida, showing why they believed Tedder was a suspect so early in the homicide investigation. "I need to know how that was determined by the Florida authorities," the judge said.
The court recessed for about an hour and Tedder was held in the lockup, while Bristol County officials sought to answer the judge's questions.
Christopher Abreu, also a Bristol County prosecutor, cited case law, saying a state has "a duty upon demand" by another state to surrender a prisoner wanted in another state.
Abreu also said that the charge against Tedder will "possibly and probably" be upgraded to first-degree murder.
Tedder and a New Bedford woman, Lizmary Rodriguez, also 23, were treated for gunshot wounds at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford on April 7, nine days after Mims went missing in Florida. The women told New Bedford police they were staying at Tedder's grandmother's home in Pensacola, Fla., when a man came to the door four days earlier and shot them.
According to a NBPD report, they went to a hospital in Florida, but left when their insurance would not cover further treatment there.
Tedder was arrested June 28 at her mother's home, 203 McCabe St., Dartmouth, on a fugitive from justice warrant from Escambia County, Florida.
READ A COPY OF THE NEW BEDFORD POLICE REPORT HERE.
The judge continued the fugitive from justice complaint until Aug. 7 in New Bedford District Court.
Follow Curt Brown on Twitter @CurtBrown_SCT