He’s avoided the crosshairs of celebrity killers — and now it appears Randy Quaid has escaped the clutches of the U.S. government.
Joyce Dudley, the district attorney in Santa Barbara County, Calif., announced Friday that her office’s bid to extradite the former Hollywood actor and his wife, Evi, has been denied by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“In declining to seek extradition, the USDOJ noted the resource intensive and lengthy process involved in seeking extradition from Canada,” Dudley said in a news release. “They further stated that extradition is generally reserved for more serious offences than that with which the Quaids have been charged.”
In September 2010, the Quaids were arrested in California and charged with felony vandalism and misdemeanor trespass, accused of causing more than $5,000 damage at a home they once owned.
They were released after posting bail. But when they failed to show up in court, their bail bonds were forfeited and warrants were issued for their arrest.
“This is consistent with what our clients have been saying all along — that they have done nothing wrong,” said the Quaids’ lawyer, Catherine Sas.
The couple was arrested the following month in Vancouver. In a bizarre twist, both submitted claims for refugee status, claiming that they were being hunted down by celebrity killers or “star whackers.”
Earlier this year, Evi Quaid obtained full Canadian citizenship through her father and announced that she had begun the process of sponsoring her husband.
The Oscar-nominated Quaid is best known for his role as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, but he has also appeared in Brokeback Mountain, Kingpin and Independence Day.
In recent months, Randy Quaid has made public appearances performing in a band. In April, the couple also debuted their “highly experimental” docu-drama called Star Whackers.
According to the Santa Barbara district attorney, bench warrants for the Quaids remain out and “should the Quaids return to the United States, they will be arrested.”
This article was written by Douglas Quan and published by the Vancouver Sun on July 15, 2011.
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