The Associated Press, among others, reports this evening that a Richmond judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Virginia governor’s decision to revoke the transfer of an imprisoned German diplomat’s son to his home country. You will recall that this convicted double-murderer Jens Soering was initially – and mysteriously – given approval by then-Governor Tim Kaine for his transfer on his last full day as Governor. Circuit Judge Beverly Snukals ruled today that Gov. Bob McDonnell acted within his authority when he rescinded Kaine’s request to send Soering to Germany.
You may also recall that in the over two years since Kaine made that decision he has never fully explained it other than to say that Soering “had abused our hospitality” and more importantly, he has refused to simply call for the release of records from his time as Governor which would shed light on the deliberations leading up to his decision.
As both the Washington Post and the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported last year, the NRSC has filed several Freedom of Information Act requests on this matter but Kaine’s records remain under seal at the University of Virginia library.
If you are reporting on this matter, please consider the following statement from the National Republican Senatorial Committee:
“Now that a judge has ruled on this matter, it’s even more important for Tim Kaine to finally step forward and be honest with the citizens of Virginia about his decision to help a convicted double-murderer in the final hours of his Administration. There is a very simple way to give this matter the long overdue transparency that it deserves and that’s for Tim Kaine to call for the release of the records surrounding it. Kaine’s continued refusal to do so should rightfully lead the citizens of Virginia to wonder what exactly he’s hiding.”
- Brian Walsh, NRSC Communications Director
BACKGROUND ON TIM KAINE & JENS SOERING….
In His Final Hours As Governor And With No Explanation,
Tim Kaine Requested A Convicted Double-Murderer Be Transferred To His Native Country Of Germany
The Haysoms Were Brutally Murdered In Their Bedford County, Virginia Home
- 1985: The Haysoms, A “Prominent And Wealthy” Couple, Were Found Murdered In Their Home In Virginia. “Haysom’s parents, retired steel executive Derek Haysom, 72, and Nancy Astor Haysom, 53, were found slain April 3, 1985. . . . The couple was prominent and wealthy. Derek Haysom, a native of South Africa, was a Canadian citizen. Local officials said his wife was related to Lady Astor, the first female member of the British House of Commons.” (Michael Specter, “2 In London Indicted In Va. Slayings,” The Washington Post, 6/14/86)
- The Haysoms Were Found “Slashed And Stabbed Repeatedly And Nearly Decapitated . . . .” “Haysom’s parents, Derek and Nancy Haysom, a prominent Lynchburg-area couple, were slashed and stabbed repeatedly and nearly decapitated in their Bedford County home.” (Bill Sizemore, “Convicted Murderer’s Hopes For Clemency Dashed,” The [Norfolk] Virginian-Pilot, 7/13/09)
- Jens Soering And Then-Girlfriend Elizabeth Haysom Fled To Europe In The Wake Of Haysom’s Parents Murder. “Soering is the son of a retired German diplomat. He and his then-girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, both honor students at the University of Virginia, made international headlines when they fled to Europe in the wake of the bloody murders. (Bill Sizemore, “Convicted Murderer’s Hopes For Clemency Dashed,” The [Norfolk] Virginian-Pilot, 7/13/09)
- Soering, The Son Of A German Diplomat Stationed In Detroit, Was Indicted On One Count Of First Degree Murder And One Count Of Capital Murder, While His Girlfriend, Haysom, “Was Indicted On Two Counts Of First-Degree Murder.” “Elizabeth Haysom, 23, was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder. Her boyfriend, Jens Soering, 19, the son of a West German diplomat stationed in Detroit, was indicted on one count of first-degree murder and one of capital murder. Both are in custody in London, where they were arrested last week on check fraud charges.” (Michael Specter, “2 In London Indicted In Va. Slayings,” The Washington Post, 6/14/86)
Soering Fought Against Extradition, But Was Eventually Extradited To The United States After The U.S. Agreed He Would Not Face The Death Penalty
- Soering Fought An Extradition Order. “Soering, 20, who faces first-degree and capital murder charges, is being held in a London jail and is appealing an extradition order.” (“Change Of Venue May Be Sought For Va. Murder Trial,” The Washington Post, 8/13/87)
- Soering’s Extradition Was Ordered After He Allegedly Told A Scotland Yard Official “If I’m Tried In Virginia, They’ll Fry Me, You Know, The Electric Chair. You Know I Killed Two People.” “Soering’s extradition was ordered June 16 after a daylong hearing in which London’s chief magistrate was presented with alleged confessions by Soering. Prosecutor Paul Garlick, representing the U.S. government, read a statement from Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Kenneth Beaver that quoted Soering as saying, ‘If I’m tried in Virginia, they’ll fry me, you know, the electric chair. You know I killed two people.’” (Donald P. Baker, “Pair Accused In Murders Shared Paths,” The Washington Post, 8/24/87)
The Jury Deliberated For Less Than Four Hours Before They Announced They Had Found Soering Guilty And Recommended A Sentence Of Two Life Terms
- “His Conviction Was Based Largely On His Confession And His Former Girlfriend’s Testimony Against Him.” (Michael Sluss and Laurence Hammack, “Kaine Seeks To Send Convicted Killer Jens Soering To German Prison,” The Roanoke Times, 1/15/10)
- The Jury Deliberated For Less Than Four Hours. “At 6:45 p.m., the jury of six men and six women filed back into the packed courtroom after less than four hours of deliberation. Clerk Carol Black read the verdict: guilty on both counts of first-degree murder and a recommended sentence of two life terms.” (David M. Poole, “‘I Wasn’t Thinking Murder, And It Seems He Was,’” The Roanoke Times, 4/3/95)
- “Soering, The Son Of A Retired German Diplomat, Received Consecutive Life Sentences For The Stabbing Deaths Of His Girlfriend’s Parents In Their Boonsboro Home.” (Michael Sluss and Laurence Hammack, “Kaine Seeks To Send Convicted Killer Jens Soering To German Prison,” The Roanoke Times, 1/15/10)
- 2010: Soering Was Denied Parole For The Sixth Time. “Jens Soering, one of Virginia’s most notorious prisoners, has been denied parole for the sixth time.” (Rex Bowman, “Notorious Murderer Jens Soering Denied Parole For Sixth Time,” The Roanoke Times, 8/19/10)
Kaine Initially Denied A Transfer Request From Soering, But Upon Leaving Office, Kaine Approved The Request
- Upon Leaving The Virginia Governor’s Office In 2010, Kaine Approved Soering’s Transfer Request, Which Would Mean The Convicted Murderer Would Be Sent To His Native Country Of Germany. “Gov. Tim Kaine has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to approve the transfer of Jens Soering — who is serving two life sentences for the 1985 murders of a Bedford County couple — to a prison in his native Germany. Kaine, who lea