First off, I never expected this day to come. As British citizens who were outside the U.S. at the time of the incident, and who were in a member of the British Commonwealth (Bahamas), there was little to no chance of them being arrested or extradited. I had accepted this reality, and decided that I needed to move on with my life with the likelihood that we would never see justice done to these people.
But now that they've been arrested, here's what I surmise what happens next, using my best educated guess:
- The U.S. Attorney in Florida will seek extradition of Chris Jones and Alison Gracey to the U.S.
- Given that they're no longer in a British Commonwealth country (St. Maarten is Dutch), my hunch is that extradition will be granted, and Jones and Gracey will be turned over to U.S. authorities.
- I think formal charges have already been filed, so I think the next step would be the beginning of the standard judicial process: arraignment, bail hearings, etc.
(My hope is that they are not granted bail. First, they'd been living in the Caribbean for the last few years on the run, so I feel like they've used up their 'hall pass' so to speak. Two, I believe them to be a flight risk. And while they may not easily leave the U.S. without their passports, it's a big country to hide in, and people do manage to sneak out of the country from time to time.)
- Then we'll either have a trial, or they may plea bargain to avoid a trial.
- If there's any justice at all, they'll do time in prison.