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Pair Arrested As Result Of TV Show Agree To Return To Michigan

February 9, 1988

EPHRATA, Wash. (AP) _ A fugitive sought in a Michigan slaying and arrested in Washington state after his picture appeared on a national television show said Monday he will return to Michigan voluntarily.

Grant County Superior Court Judge C.J. Merritt set bail at $250,000 and continued a hearing until Tuesday to give Jerry Strickland time to consult with his lawyer.

Strickland, 26, earlier told jailers he planned to fight extradition to Michigan, where he is charged with murder, but apparently changed his mind after learning his companion, Melissa K. Munday, 17, planned to return voluntarily. Ms. Munday is wanted for investigation of homicide.

″When she goes back, I want to go back with her,″ Strickland told Merritt.

During the hearing, Strickland was told he was being held on Michigan warrants charging him with first-degree murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a gun in the commission of a felony in the May 1987 slaying of a gas station courier near Pontiac, Mich.

″I really don’t know why Michigan is saying this,″ said Strickland, who appeared distraught and asked about the welfare of his 1-year-old son.

Strickland said he wanted to return to Michigan after Mary Ann Brady, the deputy Grant County prosecutor, told Merritt that Ms. Munday had agreed to voluntarily return to Michigan and was taking the child with her.

Merritt appointed a public defender to represent Strickland.

Strickland was being held in the county jail on a fugitive warrant and Ms. Munday, who is about four months pregnant, was held in the Ephrata Youth Center.

The couple had lived in Moses Lake, a central Washington town, since June. They told officials it was a coincidence they happened to be watching the NBC program ″Unsolved Mysteries″ that featured their pictures Friday night during a segment on the gas station slaying, Moses Lake Sgt. Dennis Duke said Sunday.

Moses Lake police received 15 to 20 calls about the couple after the show.

The couple fled to a motel about 40 miles away before deciding to turn themselves in, they told Duke. They were arrested at a friend’s home without incident early Saturday, Duke said.

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