Judge Allows Woman Charged With Murder to Take Two-Week Roadtrip

A Washington state judge is letting a murder defendant take a two-week, five-state road trip before her arraignment.

Peggy Sue Thomas was arrested this summer at her houseboat in New Mexico and charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors say that in 2003 she lured a man named Russ Douglas to the spot on Whidbey Island north of Seattle where he was killed.

Thomas, out on $500,000 bail, asked a judge this week for permission to attend a memorial for her half-sister in Idaho, and to travel to New Mexico, Utah and Nevada to take care of chores including preparing to rent one of her properties.

Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks says he's never heard of a murder defendant being allowed to travel out of state before, and hopes she comes back.