Extradited murder suspect faces Berkeley judge

Thomas Solheim (right) is escorted into a bond court hearing by a Berkeley County detention officer (left) and attorney Breen Stevens. Solheim is charged in the death of James Alan Horton.

Brad Nettles

MONCKS CORNER -- The last of four suspects accused in the grisly 1992 slaying of a Charleston-based sailor faced a judge here Tuesday after having lost his battle to avoid being extradited from New York.

Thomas V. Solheim, 53, of Montauk, N.Y., is charged with murder in the shooting death of James Alan Horton. He was arrested last month near his home and had been fighting extradition. A New York judge ruled on Aug. 9 that the paperwork from South Carolina was in order and Berkeley County sheriff's deputies brought Solheim back to South Carolina.

Wearing shorts and tennis shoes, his hands cuffed in front of him, Solheim said nothing as Berkeley County Magistrate Rad Deaton explained that only a circuit judge could set bail on a charge of murder.

The judge asked Horton's sister, Karen Coy of Gaston, if she wanted to say anything. "I feel that he is a flight risk," she said.

Solheim's attorney, Breen Stevens of Savage and Savage, said Solheim has medical needs and asked the judge to consider moving Solheim to an infirmary. Deaton said the matter should be taken up with the detention center staff or a circuit court judge.

After court, Stevens declined to elaborate on Solheim's medical condition and said Solheim's defense would be managed by Andy Savage.

Read more in tomorrow's Post and Courier.