Courthouse Sniper Suspect Arrested In Mexico

Pawn shop owner Darren Mack was on FBI's Most Wanted list
Pawn shop owner Darren Mack was on FBI's Most Wanted list

A former pawn shop owner wanted in the slaying of his estranged wife and the sniper shooting of the judge handling their divorce is in custody in a Texas jail following his arrest in Mexico, authorities said Friday.

Darren Mack, 45, surrendered at a hotel in the Pacific coast resort city of Puerto Vallarta Thursday night, authorities said.

Mack arrived at Dallas Fort Worth Airport this morning and was taken into custody, said Reno Police Chief Michael Poehlman.

He will be returned to Nevada after the extradition process but "no arrangements have been made yet to transfer Mack to Reno at this time," Poehlman said.

Mack is charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Charla Mack, whose body was found in a pool of blood in his town house garage June 12. Hours earlier, Judge Chuck Weller was shot in the chest while standing by the window of his courthouse office. No charge has been filed yet in the attack on Weller, who survived.

Mack was arrested late Thursday in the Pacific coast resort city of Puerto Vallarta, U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza said in a statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

"The arrest of accused killer Darren Roy Mack proves that criminals cannot find a safe haven on either side of the border," Garza said.

Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick said Thursday that Mack had arranged to turn himself in at the U.S. consulate in Puerto Vallarta but had failed to show up.

The FBI added Mack to its list of "Most Wanted" fugitives Tuesday, the same day Charla Mack, 39, was buried.

A search warrant affidavit said officers found several boxes of ammunition and an empty gun case with a receipt for a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle equipped with a laser sighting device at Mack's townhouse.

Officers discovered notes and printed material that "contain allegations that Judge Weller was corrupt and had exhibited favoritism in his rulings," according to the search warrant affidavit.

Mack was a co-owner of Palace Jewelry & Loan Co. Inc., a pawn shop, until he turned over control in 2005 to his mother, a lawyer for the business said. He had a net worth of $9.4 million as recently as 2004, according to court documents.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.