Local News

Peters Pleads Guilty in Fake Collar Bomb Case

From the Associated Press:

An Australian investment banker has admitted that he chained a fake bomb to a young woman’s neck in a bizarre extortion attempt last year that ended with his arrest in the Louisville area.

Paul Douglas Peters’ lawyer pleaded guilty on his behalf in Sydney to a charge of aggravated break and enter and committing a serious indictable offense by knowingly detaining Madeleine Pulver.

Pulver was alone in her family’s Sydney mansion in August last year when the 50-year-old Peters tethered a bomb-like device around her neck. Bomb squad police took 10 hours to remove it.

Peters will appear in court on March 16 for a pre-sentencing hearing. It was not immediately clear what prison sentence he could face.

Peters was arrested at his former wife’s home in Oldham County last year.

Local News

Australian Man Waives Process for Extradition Hearing

The Australian man accused of strapping a fake bomb around the neck of an 18 year-old woman is waiving the extradition process in hopes of getting back to his home country sooner.

Paul Douglas Peters entered the courtroom in leg shackles and a thick black-and-white striped Oldham County jail jumpsuit. Kentucky District Court Judge Dave Whalin confirmed with Peters what he was giving up by waiving his rights to have a full extradition hearing, which was scheduled for Oct. 14. The extradition treaty between the U.S. and Australia says if he were extradited he couldn’t be charged in Australia with anything other than what was filed in the complaint, said Whalin. When asked whether he understood, Peters said, “Yes, I do, sir.”

“I don’t anticipate any additional charges. I’m not aware of any charges that might be added at this point,” said Thomas Clay (pictured), Peters’ attorney.

Peters was wanted in Australia when he was arrested by a U.S. SWAT team at his ex-wife’s home in La Grange last month. His initial court appearance was a day after his arrest. The U.S. and Australian treaty gives Australian authorities 60 days to file an extradition application to the Kentucky District Court. But Peters instead signed an affidavit for waiver of the process.

“The Oldham County Jail is no rose garden. Certainly its no place someone would want to spend an extended amount of time. But he wants to get out of there and get back home where he can deal with these charges,” said Clay.

The complain includes charges of breaking and entering and kidnapping.

Clay said Peters is in U.S. Marshall custody and it’s now up to the Australian authorities to bring him back.

Local News

Australian Suspect in Bombing Hoax Caught in Louisville Suburb

A 50-year-old Australian man was arrested yesterday in a Louisville suburb. Paul “Douglas” Peters has been accused by the Australian government of breaking and entering a home near Sydney, Australia and hanging a fake bomb around the neck of a young woman on Aug. 3.

Yesterday, an FBI SWAT team raided Peter’s ex-wife’s home in La Grange and arrested him.

The U.S. has no criminal charges against Peters, but the complaint filed today in the Western District Court of Kentucky in downtown Louisville responded to the Australian warrant that charges Peters with crimes from breaking and entering to kidnapping. The warrant links Peters to the crime through evidence including an email account created in a Chicago airport on the day Peters was in the same airport. The complaint also mentions Peters was a former employee at a business with links to the victim’s family. Officials would not comment further on the evidence indicated in the complaint.

The Australian government now has 60 days to file a formal request for extradition, according to a 1974 Extradition Treaty between the U.S. and Australia.

“I’m confident that he’s the first person to ever be extradited from the Western District of Kentucky to Australia. I’ve had someone deported to Australia but not extradited,” said defense attorney Scott Cox.

Cox said more research of the treaty is needed because extradition isn’t an issue the court regularly handles. Cox will review Peters’s options like whether he would be eligible for bond or if the extradition process could be waived. Judge Dave Whalin scheduled a court hearing for Oct. 14.

“He’ll be remained in custody for a period up to 60 days by which time the Australian government will make a formal application to the U.S. authorities for an extradition hearing,” said Luke Moore, a detective superintendent with the New South Wales Police Force.

It may take weeks for the Australian government to prepare its formal request, which will include evidence supporting the warrant, said Moore. Once the Australian government files the request, the U.S. Department of Justice will review the application and make its decision, he said.

“The extradition brief of evidence will contain all the evidence that we’ve obtained that we’ll be relying on for the charges in Australia,” said Moore.

Peters’s ex-wife attended the hearing. She’s not suspected of being involved with any of the charges and Cox asked the press and public to respect her privacy.

Click here to see a copy of the complaint filed against Peters in the Western District Court of Kentucky.

Local News

Australian Man Arrested Outside Louisville in Connection With Sydney Bombing Hoax

A man suspected of a bombing hoax in Australia was arrested Monday outside of Louisville.

Sydney police allege that Paul “Doug” Peters broke into a teenage girl’s home on August 3rd and strapped what ended up being a fake bomb around her neck along with what may have been a ransom note. He left Australia five days later and ended up at the home of his ex-wife in La Grange, where an FBI SWAT team arrested Peters Monday evening.

“We will be alleging kidnapping, breaking and entering and committing a serious and durable offense, demanding property with menaces,” says New South Wales Superintendent Commander Luke Moore.

Peters is a 50-year-old native Australian who traveled to America frequently and, according to FBI, lived in Kentucky and elsewhere in the country for part of his life.

“He does have some family connections here. He has previously lived in the United States for some period of time. He is an Australian citizen, though.”

Moore doesn’t suspect Peters’s ex wife was part of the alleged plot.

Peters will appear in court Tuesday. An extradition hearing is in 60 days.