A British man who lost his long-running battle against extradition in connection with a 20-year-old Jacksonville murder case is behind bars on the First Coast.
Phillip Harkins, 38, is charged with the 1999 murder of 22-year-old Joshua Hayes. Investigators say Harkins shot and killed Hayes in a robbery.
After being charged, Harkins was released on bail but then fled the country to Scotland, where he evaded capture for a year. He was later arrested in connection with a deadly crash there in 2003.
His extradition process has gone on for some 14 years now. Europe's highest human rights court, which denied his final request to block extradition, also ordered a temporary extradition block be lifted.
In a statement, State Attorney Melissa Nelson said:
“Mr. Harkins was indicted for first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm in February of 2000. If convicted of first-degree murder, Harkins faces mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole. If he is convicted of armed robbery with a firearm, he may face a maximum of life in prison. We appreciate the hard work of the U.S. Department of the Justice, Office of International Affairs, on this case and refer you to them regarding questions about extradition. Commonly asked questions about the process are answered on their website: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-oia.
Harkins was taken into custody on Thursday and faced a judge in Jacksonville on Friday.