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Murder suspect found in Louisiana waives extradition to White County

POSTED: August 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A White County man wanted in the murder of his estranged wife waived extradition Wednesday in Monroe, La., where he was arrested earlier this week while walking along the side of an interstate.

White County sheriff’s officials expect to travel to Louisiana to pick up Jonathan Hart, 21, of Cleveland sometime this week, said White County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy John O’Brien.

Hart waived extradition during a video conference court hearing at the Ouachita Correctional Center, the The News Star of Monroe, La., reported.

Hart is charged in the Saturday shooting death of 21-year-old Stephanie Hart, a 911 operator from Toccoa. Hart was found in her estranged husband’s home on Lothridge Road, dead from a gunshot wound.

The couple was no longer living together at the time of the shooting.

Authorities posted a lookout for Jonathan Hart and his white 1997 Dodge Ram pickup truck.

On Monday, a Monroe, La., police officer saw a suspicious person walking along the side of Interstate 20 and stopped to talk with him, Monroe Police Lt. Jeff Harris said.

The man identified himself as Jonathan Hart through a Georgia driver’s license, and police soon learned through a computer check he was a wanted man.

Harris said Hart "could not answer questions logically as to where he was going or where was coming from. I would say he was being evasive."

Hart claimed to have run out of gas, but authorities could not find his truck during an extensive search of the interstate, Harris said.

"We still haven’t found it," Harris said.



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