Samuel Sheinbein, 34, the convicted prisoner who died in a shoot-out with security forces in Rimonim Prison on Sunday, was serving a life-term in Israel for a murder committed while a teenager in the United States.

His case caused a diplomatic crisis between Israel and the U.S. – and subsequently prompted a change in Israel's extradition law – after he evaded arrest in the U.S. and made his way to Israel, where he was eligible for automatic citizenship as the son of an Israeli national.

Israel's refusal to extradite was supported by an Israeli Supreme Court ruling on the basis of a 1978 law banning the extradition of Israeli citizens, against the advice of then-Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein. The incident led to threats from Congress to withhold aid to Israel and a period of frosty relations with then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Despite pleading not guilty to a charge of murder with intent to kill - the equivalent of first-degree murder in the U.S. - Sheinbein accepted a plea bargain with the prosecution and was sentenced by the Tel Aviv District Court to 24 years in prison, with eligibility for parole after 16 years, by the Tel Aviv District Court.

Sheinbein and a former classmate at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Silver Spring, Maryland, Aaron Benjamin Needle, killed another teenager, Alfredo Enrique Tello, Jr., on September 16, 1997, when Sheinbein was 17. They then dismembered and burned the body.

At the time of the murder, the Washington Post reported on September 2, 1999, Sheinbein was planning to kill the boyfriend of a girl he had a crush on, according to the U.S. indictment. But before he could put his plan into action, his friend Needle got into an altercation with Tello, reportedly when Tello punched Needle in front of a girl to whom Needle was attracted. Needle immediately called his friend Sam, who apparently decided that Tello would be his practice victim.

Sheinbein drafted a list, later referred to by the prosecutors as a "Recipe for Murder" - a piece of paper on which he noted the implements he would need to commit the act: "'Zap, pepper, metal restraints, rainsuits... X-acto hobby knife, plastic bags" and other items, such as a "Dujitsu 2000 knife."
The police believed that Sheinbein and Needle choked, stabbed and beat Tello to death, after subduing him with a stun gun. The two then hid the body in Sheinbein garage, and, while his parents were home, they dismembered Tello's limbs and burned the body to make sure it could not be identified.

Shortly after the body was found by a realtor at a nearby vacant home on September 19, 1997, Sheinbein fled to Israel. His father, Sol Sheinbein, allegedly brought him his passport, an airline ticket and drove him to the airport.

His accomplice, Needle, was arrested and committed suicide by hanging himself with a bedsheet in a Maryland prison just before his trial was to start in April 1998.

Sheinbein applied for an Israeli citizenship soon after arriving in Israel. He came to the notice of the local authorities after an alcoholic binge in a hotel with his brother, Robert, and a prostitute. U.S. authorities were made aware of his presence in Israel after he was hospitalized for a drug overdose.
On February 6th, 2014, only two weeks before he ran amok in prison, Sheinbein received a furlough from jail. His furloughs had previously been suspended, but were restored after he challenged the denial in court. He proceeded to the city of Ramla, where he attempted to buy a gun. The seller thought the buyer looked suspicious, and decided not to sell it to him. Sheinbein was arrested when he tried to steal the gun.

Nevertheless, Sheinbein was able to get a gun, which he turned on three prison guards on Sunday. He died a few hours later, when security forces raided the cell in which he was hiding out.

Prompted by the Sheinbein case, the Knesset subsequently amended the extradition law to make it easier to extradite Israeli citizens charged with committing crimes abroad.

Israel's extradition law was changed in 1999, following the case. According to the amended law allows Israel to extradite Israeli citizens on condition that they are returned to Israel to carry out their sentence, if found guilty by the court.

A warrant was issued for Sol Sheinbein's arrest, but before it could be executed he left the U.S. for Israel and he remains a fugitive to this day. He was disbarred in 2002 from practicing law. He currently lives in Israel with his wife Victoria in Tel Aviv and he goes by the name of Shlomo.

A warrant was issued for Sol Sheinbein's arrest, but before it could be executed he left the U.S. for Israel and he remains a fugitive to this day. He was disbarred in 2002 from practicing law. He currently lives in Israel with his wife Victoria in Tel Aviv and he goes by the name of Shlomo.

 In 2002 Sol Sheinbein told Haaretz that he has no wish to return to the U.S. "Why should I pay a lawyer and stand on trial? After all, there is a possibility that they would find me guilty," he said. "This is political persecution. The prosecution is angry over its failure to extradite my son so its punishing me."