Two days after a former Marine corporal's Anchorage arrest in the Southern California death of a fellow Marine's wife, prosecutors are beginning to lay out their case against him.
Christopher Brandon Lee was arraigned in Anchorage Jail Court Tuesday afternoon, after being arrested by Anchorage police on a California homicide warrant Sunday night. He did not waive his right to an extradition hearing, a move hoped for by law enforcement officers in California.
In another point of contention with prosecutors, Lee asked to speak with his attorney, despite the prosecution's claim that he didn't have one. A discussion in court revealed that the attorney is based in California and can't practice law in Alaska, leading to the scheduling of an Alaska representation hearing for Lee.
According to San Bernardino District Attorney Michael Ramos, Christopher Brandon Lee faces California charges Tuesday of murder and lying in wait in the death of Erin Corwin, Cpl. Jonathan Corwin's wife.
"It is a pretty awful crime," Ramos told Channel 2 News by phone Tuesday afternoon. "She was a very young woman at the age of 19 -- and had her whole life ahead of her."
Ramos says tire tracks found at the scene of Corwin's death in Southern California match those of Lee's truck.
Ramos wasn't able to give many details regarding the case, but he says when those details are released the public will understand why the crime was so awful. He described lying in wait as a special allegation under California law that is used when a defendant "sets up or surprises their victim."
"There was information that they were going to go on a special trip together," Ramos said. "The victim had told somebody that information."
Although court documents have described Lee as Corwin's lover, Ramos says his actual plans involved Corwin's death.
"The day she disappeared, he was collecting tires," Ramos said. "And that ties to his research of how to dispose of a human being, because with tires they can burn for hours and hours."
Ramos would not say if Corwin's body was burned.
Despite Lee's decision regarding his extradition rights Tuesday, officials have contingency plans for bringing him to California.
"If he doesn't waive extradition then we have a different process that takes longer to get him back to the state of California but we will get him eventually," Ramos said.
Channel 2's Blake Essig contributed information to this story.