The suspect in a 2009 slaying near Cloverdale made a first court appearance Tuesday following his extradition last week from Mexico.
Augustin Alvarez-Peña, 42, is charged with murder and possession of marijuana for sale in the shooting death of his cousin, Santos Alvarez, 24 of Cloverdale.
About a dozen family members watched as Alvarez-Peña, clad in a blue jail uniform, was brought before Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite. He acknowledged the charges and asked for more time before making a plea so he could consult with a private attorney.
He faces a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole, prosecutor Jason Riehl said.
His next appearance was set for Monday morning before Judge Gary Medvigy.
Outside court, family members who came from as far away as Los Angeles declined to discuss the case.
“We're looking for justice for both parties,” said a woman from Clearlake who said she was his cousin.
Authorities said Alvarez-Peña fled California after the Oct. 16, 2009 killing. He was arrested by Mexican police in Jalisco earlier this year.
His cousin's body was found in a warehouse north of Cloverdale along with dozens of pounds of marijuana and a handgun.