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Posted at 5:09 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Convicted murderer sues governor over stay in U.S.

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

A year after Gov. Bob McDonnell revoked Jens Soering's transfer to Germany, the convicted murderer and former University of Virginia honors student has filed a lawsuit questioning whether McDonnell had the authority to do so.

In one of his last acts as governor, Gov. Tim Kaine (D) said he would allow Soering to serve time in his native Germany.

But in one of his first reversals of his predecessor's actions, McDonnell (R) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder revoking the state's consent to the transfer, saying he had been deluged by those opposing Kaine's action.

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Richmond Circuit Court, asks the court to decide whether McDonnell's action was within his statutory or constitutional authority.

"At this point in time, we have not been served in this case,'' McDonnell spokeswoman Taylor Thornley said. "We will have further comment if and when that occurs."

Soering, the son of a German diplomat, was convicted by a Bedford County Circuit Court jury of two counts of first-degree murder in the 1985 killings of his girlfriend's parents in a case that made international headlines.

"I hope that the courts will dispose of this matter quickly and once again give assurances to the people of Bedford and the Haysom family that justice will prevail,'' Sen. Stephen D. Newman (R-Lynchburg) said.

By Anita Kumar  | January 19, 2011; 5:09 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell  
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