The man police believe killed a 15-year-old Oregon girl in a hit-and-run accident was snatched out of the reach of the American justice system by agents of the government of Saudi Arabia, according to a published report.
Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, who was facing a June 2017 trial in the 2016 death of Fallon Smart, was picked up from his Southeast Portland home, according to a report in The Oregonian.
The report said that after ridding himself of his ankle monitor, he was flown out of the country.
“It broke our hearts again,” Shane Smart, the victim’s uncle, said at the time.
“I can’t believe that he ran,” Smart added. “He took a life. There’s got to be some sort of justice for Fallon.”
“We’re doing everything we can to get him back,” said Eric Wahlstrom, a supervisory deputy U.S. marshal.
Saudi officials only recently confirmed that Noorah had arrived in the country in 2017.
Because Saudi Arabia has no extradition treaty with the U.S., authorities are stymied.
“Why isn’t the Saudi government respecting our justice system?” said Chris Larsen, a lawyer for Smart’s mother, Fawn Lengvenis. “It’s reprehensible.”
Smart’s mother declined to be interviewed, but Larsen, speaking for her, said that fact that the man police believe killed a 15-year-old got away is “trauma on top of trauma.”
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Police said the August 2016 accident that killed Smart took place when the Lexus Noorah was driving hit the girl while going between 55 mph and 60 mph. After his arrest, it was learned he had 17 parking violations and a suspended license for driving without insurance.
Noorah was later indicted for first-degree manslaughter. Multnomah County prosecutor Shawn Overstreet sought bail at $1 million. Circuit Judge Cheryl Albrecht agreed.
“We always felt this guy was a huge flight risk,” Overstreet said
The Saudi government gave Noorah money to post to secure his release, the report said. He left jail in September 2016.
The following June, after learning his grandmother had died and with his trial date looming, Noorah suddenly vanished.
Authorities found his ankle monitor and through a surveillance video were able to see that Noorah had been picked up by a black SUV. The trail then went cold.
“He was gone. He was a ghost for a while,” Overstreet said.
In July, Saudi officials informed U.S. authorities that Noorah had arrived in Saudi Arabia 10 days after leaving Oregon, the report said. Officials gave no explanation of his whereabouts during that time.
“It’s still absolutely crazy that this could happen,” Overstreet said. “I can’t even imagine what it must feel like for the family who lost their 15-year-old daughter.”
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