A New York City judge Friday cleared the way for Bruce Marchant to be brought back to Boise to be tried on charges of rape, murder and kidnapping in the death of Boise State University student Sierra Bush.
Marchant appeared before Supreme Court Judge Larry Stephen, who denied a writ of habeas corpus filed by Marchant challenging his detention. In New York, a Supreme Court judge is equivalent to a Circuit Court judge in Idaho.
Stephen signed papers ordering Marchant’s extradition and asking Idaho authorities to pick up the defendant on April 6, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Marchant, 61, is accused of killing Bush, 18, last fall and dumping her naked body in a creek near Idaho City, about 30 miles from Boise.
Marchant had fought extradition back to Idaho, requiring a process in which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter have to sign documents ordering the prisoner’s transfer.
The suspect was arrested in early November after police located him in a Veterans Affairs hospital in New York City.
Boise police detectives conducted hundreds of interviews before traveling to New York to arrest Marchant. Authorities have not revealed how Marchant was identified as a suspect in the case.
Sierra — or Simon, to some — went missing in late September and her body was found Oct. 22.
Marchant previously spent three decades floating between Idaho and federal prisons, serving a 20-year sentence for a North Idaho armed robbery and an assault on a police officers.
Notes from Idaho Parole Commission meetings and disciplinary reports from the Idaho Department of Correction portray Marchant as a loner unable to follow rules much of the time and who openly defied corrections officers.
At one point, he told authorities he killed a fellow Idaho inmate, but he was not criminally charged in that case. He claimed self-defense when interviewed by detectives from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.
Marchant tried to reduce his prison sentences in 1989. The Idaho Court of Appeals ruled against him, saying his “behavior resulted from debilitating psychological disorders” and that he stopped using prescribed medication and resorted instead to heavy alcohol use.
He ultimately served the full 20 years for the crimes before he was released Sept. 26, 2008.
Marchant once lived in a house owned by Bush’s father, Phil Bush, on a cul-de-sac along Maple Grove Road, between Ustick and McMillan. The home was a half-mile from a duplex that Sierra Bush moved into with her father in June. Phil Bush told the New York Daily News that Marchant hadn’t lived there for about six months leading up to Sierra’s disappearance.