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Frisbee Ordered Extradited to Canada

June 21, 1986

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A man charged with bludgeoning his wealthy patroness to death with a liquor bottle aboard a luxury Norwegian cruise ship was ordered extradited to Canada on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Robert Schnacke rejected arguments by a lawyer for Robert Frisbee that Canada lacked jurisdiction over a crime on a foreign ship and that the case must be tried in Norway, where the liner was registered.

Defense lawyer V. Roy Lefcourt said he might ask the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule Schnacke, but was more inclined to let the extradition proceed and have the issue decided in Canadian courts. The case would be tried in Victoria, B.C.

Frisbee, 58, is charged with murder in the death of 80-year-old Muriel Barnett in the luxury stateroom they shared on the liner Royal Viking Star. Her body was found Aug. 19 aboard the ship, which was off British Columbia on its return to San Francisco from a cruise to Canada and Alaska.

Frisbee had been the private secretary and traveling companion of Mrs. Barnett and her late husband, Phillip, for many years. Prosecutors said Frisbee wrote $420,000 in checks on Mrs. Barnett’s account the day the liner sailed. The defense says the checks were authorized.

Frisbee, described by his lawyers as an alcoholic subject to blackouts, has told authorities he doesn’t remember what happened.

U.S. authorities gave up their attempt to try Frisbee when they learned the liner was in Canadian waters at the time of the death.

Lefcourt said Frisbee would be better off with a trial in Norway, where the maximum sentence for murder is 20 years. Canada has a maximum term of life in prison but is more sympathetic than the United States to defenses based on mental state, Lefcourt said.

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