Meroney's lawyer questions prosecution

Meroney's lawyers are talking to prosecutors in Maryland today, trying to figure out exactly how serious they are about going to trial before Meroney heads back to the state to surrender himself.

Memphis TV news anchor Ron Meroney's lawyers say that until an angry accuser sent her warning letter to Governor Phil Bredesen, it wasn't clear that Maryland prosecutors had any interest in extraditing or trying him on the three-decade old rape charge.

"One of the things that I think the lawyer up there was going to try to find out was... Does Maryland really want to prosecute this case?" said Mark Mesler by phone.

"I'll tell you that when we first heard there may be allegations like this, one of the things we were advised is Maryland was not going to extradite him."

So Meroney waited, knowing - Mesler says - that to return to Maryland meant he would have to surrender himself over to authorities instantly. Maryland prosecutors tell us Meroney still has not turned himself in and that they are working on a Governor's warrant in the event that extradition proceedings begin and Meroney resists. Meroney's lawyer tells us that won't happen. And the lawyer takes offense to the letter, written by Meroney's accuser, making allegations that "this man has many victims, including my five brothers and sisters."

"You would assume that the authorities would have contacted these other alleged victims because I am certain that she would have brought their names up to them when this investigation started and I am assuming that they wanted no part of coming forward if anything in fact happened," says Mesler.

Ron Meroney - he says - adamantly denies all of the charges. We've been emailing with the Maryland prosecutor who is bringing these charges. When asked about Mark Mesler's claim, that it wasn't clear that they were necessarily interested in moving forward with Meroney's extradition, Wicomaco County D.A. Davis Ruark wrote that he won't engage in a public dialogue over this.