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Judge says Orange County authorities can prosecute man in Italian cruise ship death

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A judge says Orange County authorities can prosecute a man charged with strangling his ex-wife and tossing her off a cruise ship in Italy.

The Orange County Register reports (http://bit.ly/15jUxFA ) a Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that California law doesn't limit prosecutors to handling only cases within the state.

Lonnie Kocontes of Safety Harbor, Fla., was arrested in February. He's pleaded not guilty to killing his ex-wife for financial gain.

Kocontes and Micki Kanesaki were divorced but lived together on and off in Mission Viejo and were on a cruise in 2006 when she went overboard in the Mediterranean.

Her body washed ashore the next day.

Authorities say an investigation began in 2008 when Kocontes began transferring more than $1 million from Kanesaki's bank accounts.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/130530/judge-says-orange-county-authorities-can-prosecute-man-itali