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US man held in Northern Ireland over Florida drugs murder

An US man arrested in Northern Ireland over a drugs-related murder in Florida is to fight extradition, a court heard today.

United States authorities are seeking 22-year-old Jonah Horne in connection with the killing of a man last summer.

Horne was detained under a provisional warrant at his partner's home on Drumard Drive, in Lisburn, on Monday.

As he appeared before Laganside Courts in Belfast his lawyers confirmed he will not be consenting to extradition.

Barrister Sean Doherty also stressed they want assurances that he will not face any threat of a death penalty.

Horne is being sought in connection with the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Jacob Walsh outside apartments at North Military Trail, Boca Raton on June 7, 2016.

The killing was linked to an apparent drug deal, according to reports at the time.

Entering the dock in a grey sweat shirt and bottoms, Horne spoke only to confirm his identity.

Judge Patricia Smyth was told he arrived in Northern Ireland last October and has only £500 to his name.

Stephen Ritchie, counsel for the US authorities, said he was wanted on a charge of murder.

But Mr Doherty responded that his client denies the alleged offence.

"I have been asked by the requested person to say that he's been taken entirely by surprise by these proceedings," he said.

The barrister also raised issues about making any extradition order in a case where the death penalty may feature.

"Florida is a state where capital punishment does flow on conviction for murder," he pointed out.

Horne was remanded in custody to appear again in ten days time when he is expected to make a bail application.

As he was being led to the cells he gestured to a woman sitting alone in the public gallery.

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