The man accused of kidnapping and killing a woman from Bethel Park, Penn., will be returned to Nevada to face federal charges.
Reports on KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh Mar. 2 said 40-year-old John Chapman is accused of taking his girlfriend, 33-year-old Jamie Feden, to Nevada in late Sept. 2019 and killing her in the desert north of Las Vegas.
Appearing in federal court in Pittsburgh Mar. 2, KDKA reporter Amy Wadas said, “The judge looked at John Chapman and told him, ‘You are facing a very serious charge involving the death of a person.’”
Wadas said Chapman, represented by a public defender, showed no emotion in his appearance in federal court.
He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted and could be eligible for the death penalty.
Federal prosecutors in Nevada filed a criminal complaint against Chapman at the end of February.
On Nov. 15, 2019, Chapman was arrested in Bethel Park, Penn., on suspicion of kidnapping in the disappearance of Feden.
He later confessed to her murder, telling police he drove Feden to Las Vegas with the intent of killing her. He told police he “had a kill kit ready before they left Pennsylvania.”
He also told investigators he convinced Feden to go with him into the Nevada desert under the pretext “of a photo shoot.” The spot turned out to be in Lincoln County, about one and a half miles east on Kane Springs road.
Feden’s body was discovered Oct. 5 by a passerby. Initially, the body remained unidentified until reports of Feden being missing were turned into Bethel Park police and Chapman was arrested.
A description of Feden’s dental records later matched the body at the Clark County Coroner’s office in Las Vegas.
Wadas reported the federal judge said Chapman had waived his right to a preliminary hearing and ordered him to be transferred to Las Vegas where he will also have a court-appointed attorney.
The KDKA report noted U.S. Marshals did not say when Chapman would be extradited to Las Vegas, but will remain in jail in Pittsburgh until that time.
Meanwhile, Lincoln County District Attorney Dylan Frehner told KDKA News he plans to file separate state kidnapping and murder charges later in March.
County Sheriff Kerry Lee said having state and federal charges against Chapman “does not constitute double jeopardy; they are separate charges.”