The correspondence, which has not been confirmed to have been actually sent by Cpl. Cesar Laurean, was released by the Onslow County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina, along with a reply e-mail sent by Sheriff Ed Brown.
In the initial message dated March 30, purportedly sent by the fugitive Laurean, the sender claimed that he wanted to open a dialogue with Sheriff Brown to possibly arrange his surrender.
The e-mail appeared to be sent from Mexico, according to a statement by Capt. Rick Sutherland, and the circumstances surrounding the delivery of the message were consistent with other messages known to have been sent by Laurean.
Although law enforcement has not been able to verify that the sender was authentic (in fact, Laurean's name is mis-spelled, hence the subsequent mis-spellings in the Sheriff's reply), Sheriff Brown responded because it may well have been a legitimate attempt by Laurean to turn himself in.
If the Marine Corps wishes to try Laurean, it must file charges before his first extradition hearing., depending on if Laurean (who holds Mexican citizenship) decides to fight it.
Brown told CBS affiliate WRAL that Laurean would be treated like every other inmate in his jail.
"Cesar Laurean is not an animal. He's a human, and he's not a trophy," he said.
The text of the original e-mail follows, along with the Sheriff's response below.
From: Cesar Lauren LaurenResponse:
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:56 AM
To: Sheriff of Onslow County, NC
Subject: Sir , Can I ask you?
Can you assure immunity from a military court martial if I come back? , I know they will convict me with no evidence, I cant risk Leavenworth or a chain gang, what can you do for me?
FROM: Sheriff Ed Brown, Onslow County, North Carolina
SENT: Thursday, April 3, 2008 (11:00 A.M.)
TO: Cesar Lauren Lauren
SUBJECT: Mr. Lauren, Response to e-mail dated Sunday, March 30, 2008 (12:56AM)
Mr. Lauren, Sir:
First assuming the e-mail I received on Sunday, March 30, 2008, 12:56 AM) purported to be from you is authentic (real), I believe it is both honorable and professional to you that I personally respond to your questions.
Mr. Lauren, turning yourself in would be a very positive step, the wisest thing you could do. My opinion is based on experiences observed through my nearly forty years of law enforcement.
Mr. Lauren, you and I have never met so therefore it is not likely you would know how committed I am to being honest and straight up with people, even persons in your situation. I will not lie to you or mislead you relative to your questions in the e-mail I received and you know what those questions are.
My answer, after consulting with District Attorney Dewey Hudson, I cannot assure you immunity from the military court; however, at this time it is the civilian authorities who have charged you and I understand the military is leaving everything up to the civilian authorities. If in fact the e-mail I received is from you and you desire to have a verbal dialogue with me, this is my cell phone number and you may contact me any time: (910)xxx-xxxx) Thank You.
A Caring and Serving Sheriff,