RENO, Nev. – A former pawn shop owner wanted in the slaying of his estranged wife and the sniper shooting of a judge surrendered to authorities at a Mexican hotel after nearly two weeks on the run.
Darren Mack, 45, was arrested in the Pacific Coast resort city of Puerto Vallarta late Thursday, hours after he had first arranged a morning surrender there and then failed to show up, authorities said. Reno Police Chief Michael Poehlman said intense news coverage probably led Mack to conclude authorities were closing in on him.
Mack was flown to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on Friday, and authorities said he was expected to arrive in Nevada late Friday or early Saturday.
He is charged with murder in the stabbing death of 39-year-old Charla Mack, whose body was found June 12 in his townhouse garage. The same day, Family Court Judge Chuck Weller was shot in the chest as he stood near his third-floor office window. Weller had been handling the couple's divorce case.
Weller has been recovering under guard. No charges have been filed in his shooting.
A search of Mack's townhouse turned up boxes of ammunition and an empty gun case with a receipt for a rifle equipped with a laser sighting device, according to court papers.
The FBI added Mack to its list of most-wanted fugitives Tuesday.
Defense attorney Scott Freeman said Mack chose to surrender "to be with his family, his children, and to defend himself."
At news conference Friday afternoon, Charla Mack's mother, Soorya Townley, and brother, Christopher Broughton, praised law enforcement and thanked the community for its support.
"We are greatly relieved he's been apprehended without further bloodshed," said Christopher Broughton, 30.
Mack co-owned a pawn shop until 2005, when he turned over control to his mother, a lawyer for the business said. He earned more than $500,000 a year and had a net worth of $9.4 million as recently as 2004, according to court documents.