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Autumn Klein Update: Robert Ferrante, Pittsburgh medical researcher accused of poisoning wife, to waive extradition, lawyer says

Autumn Marie Klein CBS Pittsburgh

Autumn Marie Klein
CBS Pittsburgh
(CBS/AP) PITTSBURGH - A University of Pittsburgh medical researcher accused of fatally poisoning his neurologist wife will agree to be transported back to Pennsylvania to face charges, his attorney said.

Dr. Robert Ferrante intends to waive extradition at a hearing Monday in West Virginia, where he was taken into custody Thursday, said attorney William Difenderfer.

Difenderfer said his client wasn't trying to flee charges in the death of 41-year-old UPMC neurologist Autumn Marie Klein when he left Florida and began driving north.

He said he had called his client and told him to return to Pittsburgh to surrender, and his client was "on his way to turn himself in."

According to CBS Pittsburgh, state police in West Virginia were able to track down and arrest Ferrante with the use of license plate reading technology. Troopers set up patrols near a toll plaza and when Ferrante passed through, they stopped traffic.

Troopers pulled Ferrante over for a traffic stop and he was then taken into custody without incident, police said.

Klein, chief of women's neurology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, died April 20 after falling ill at home three days earlier. Blood tests revealed a lethal level of cyanide but only after Klein had died and been cremated at her husband's insistence, police said.

Prosecutors allege that Ferrante, co-director of the Center for ALS Research and a visiting professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, had used a university credit card to buy more than a half-pound of cyanide two days before his wife fell ill.

The attorney said Ferrante maintains his innocence.

"My guy is adamant that he was not involved," Difenderfer said.

Complete coverage of Autumn Marie Klein on Crimesider

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