TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) -- A day after Israel's high court closed the extradition option for good, Israeli prosecutors Monday charged a Maryland teenager with first-degree murder in the dismemberment killing of an acquaintance in the United States.

Samuel Sheinbein, 18, fled to Israel three days after the mutilated corpse of Alfredo Tello Jr. was found in Montgomery County, Md., in September 1997.At Monday's hearing, prosecutor Hadassah Naor charged Sheinbein with premeditated murder, saying he and an accomplice strangled Tello, 19, chopped up his dead body with an electric saw and burned parts of it.

Sheinbein stared straight ahead during the hearing, which was held in Hebrew. Court officials failed to provide a translator but promised to do so in future hearings. No date has been set for the start of the trial, which has to wrap up within nine months.

Defense attorney David Libai would not say how his client would plead. If convicted, Sheinbein faces life in prison.

The case has strained relations between Israel and the United States. U.S. officials have expressed disappointment over Sunday's court decision preventing extradition but said they would cooperate with Israeli prosecutors.

Dozens of witnesses, including U.S. police investigators, will have to be flown to Israel from the United States for the trial.

Sheinbein was ordered held until April 19 when the court will consider a prosecution request to keep him in detention until the end of the trial.

Libai said he would not object to keeping his client in jail, saying it was "in the public interest to keep him in custody."