West Michigan man fights extradition to Mexico in alleged 2001 killing of wife, unborn child

April 17, 2012

MLive.com on April 17, 2012 released the following:

“By John Agar

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A West Michigan man suspected in the 2001 killing of his pregnant wife is fighting extradition to Mexico where the government wants him tried for murder.

Jose Luis Castillo, a U.S. citizen born in Texas, is accused of killing and beheading his wife, Maria Elena Mata Hernandez, and stuffing her body into a suitcase.

He has a hearing this week in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.

As part of a treaty with Mexico, U.S. prosecutors in Grand Rapids have asked Magistrate Judge Hugh Brenneman Jr. to find the complaint sufficient, and forward the extradition request to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for a final decision.

Defense attorney Donald Garthe said his client, who is serving eight to 15 years in prison for third-degree sexual assault in Berrien County, is fighting the extradition complaint. He noted that the complaint names “Jose Luis Castillo” as the suspect, while his client’s name is Raul Luis Castillo Jr.

Raul Castillo is on his birth certificate and state prison records. The government says he uses both names.

Regardless, Garthe said Monday: “He denies he killed his wife.”

He said that testimony of witnesses is not credible, and that there is no evidence from the crime scene linking his client to the killing. Garthe said witnesses only identified his client as the suspect after being told by authorities, 10 years after the killing, “that the murderer’s name was Raul Castillo.”

In the request for extradition, prosecutors said that a diplomatic note sent to the U.S. detailed the woman’s late May 2001 killing in the municipality of Soledad de Graciano, San Luis Potosi.

The government said Castillo strangled and suffocated her, which led to the death of her unborn child. He then allegedly abducted the daughter he had with his wife, referred to as Mata in court documents, and left for the U.S.

Under Mexican law, because he did not have legal custody of the child, he was accused of kidnapping her.
The couple were married in 1999 and moved to Michigan, her family told authorities.

They then left for Mexico because he was wanted in the U.S. for abducting a son from a previous relationship, records said.

The couple had a daughter, but the mother did not register her birth in Castillo’s name because he was wanted in the U.S.

He admitted to others that he killed her “as revenge for denouncing him to the authorities …,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Daniels wrote in court documents.

In early June 2001, the woman’s body was discovered inside a suitcase in an apartment after a witness reported an unbearable odor. The body, bound with plastic rope, had multiple injuries. Police found a bloody machete.

Witnesses said Castillo was last seen headed for Nuevo Laredo, which borders the U.S.

Castillo is believed to have spent time in the Benton Harbor area. Last year, he was sentenced to state prison for sexual assault.

Federal authorities took custody in February while Castillo was held at Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon. Authorities were concerned that if Castillo had been acquitted of sexual assaultl, he would flee. Federal prosecutors last year filed paperwork, recently unsealed, seeking custody.

Daniels said a hearing on Thursday would establish probable cause. In court documents, he discounted Castillo’s denials.

“Although the defendant was the last person seen with Maria and fled with (their daughter) Jennifer immediately after the murder, and the body was found in a suitcase belonging to him, and the severed head was found in a plastic bag given to him, both in the apartment he had rented, alongside the “Tommy” jeans that he wore, he now contends that there is insufficient evidence to link him to the brutal murder of his wife and unborn child.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Mexico Seeks to Extradite US Weapons Suspects

November 17, 2011

Mexico’s attorney general has asked the United States to extradite six people suspected of providing guns to drug cartels in Mexico.

“As a sovereign state, Mexico has the freedom to punish those who violate its law by introducing weapons on its territory,” Marisela Morales told Congress Wednesday.

The extradition requests concern three citizens or residents of California and three others in Texas, Morales said.

Two other US citizens were under investigation in Mexico on similar charges.

Mexico has long criticized the role of US-bought weapons in its raging drug violence, which has left some 45,000 dead since 2006.

The extradition request came amid anger in Mexico over a US operation called “Fast and Furious” under which US officials followed suspect buyers of guns heading to Mexico instead of immediately arresting them, between 2009 and 2010.

According to a US congressional report in July, an estimated 2,000 weapons smuggled into Mexico in the operation have been linked to violence and killings, including that of a US federal agent.

This article was published by the Times of Oman on November 17, 2011.

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


US Fights Producer’s Bid to Overturn Extradition

November 1, 2011

Associated Press

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to reject a reality TV producer’s petition to overturn an extradition order on allegations that he killed his wife during a vacation in Mexico.

The filing Monday by prosecutors in Los Angeles argues that attorneys for ex-“Survivor” producer Bruce Beresford-Redman haven’t presented credible conflicting evidence that would warrant overturning the order authorizing his return to Cancun to stand trial.

Beresford-Redman filed a brief in September arguing that the magistrate judge’s extradition ruling didn’t take into account evidence favorable to him. He was charged with aggravated homicide after his wife Monica was found dead at an upscale resort in April 2010.

The latest filing says the judge considered evidence presented by Beresford-Redman, but didn’t find it compelling.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

This article was written by Anthony McCartney and published by the Associated Press on October 24, 2011

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Bruce Beresford-Redman, a TV Producer, to be Sent to Mexico to Stand Trial

July 12, 2011

Times Union on July 12, 2011 released the following:

“ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge on Tuesday ordered a reality TV producer to be returned to Mexico to face a charge that he killed his wife while on a family vacation 15 months ago.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian issued her ruling after a nearly two-hour extradition hearing in Los Angeles.

Bruce Beresford-Redman has been jailed since November on a fugitive warrant issued after Mexican authorities in Cancun charged him with the aggravated homicide of his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman.

He could face between 12 and 30 years in prison if convicted.

The former “Survivor” producer can appeal the ruling, and federal prosecutors said it could be at least a year before he is sent to Mexico if he pursues all his U.S. appeals.

Beresford-Redman did not react during the hearing. He appeared in court in a jail jumpsuit and was shackled throughout the hearing.

His attorney, Richard Hirsch, argued there were major inconsistencies in the evidence, and extradition should be rejected. Chooljian, however, said she made her ruling after considering the totality of the evidence and that there was probable cause that Beresford-Redman killed his wife.

His attorneys have said he is innocent and challenged the case against him, calling it a rush to judgment.

Monica Beresford-Redman’s body was found in a sewer cistern at an upscale Cancun resort in April 2010.

Alison Triessl, an attorney for her family, said the victim’s sisters were happy with the result but realize it is another step in a long process.

“They know there will probably be appeal after appeal,” Triessl said. “It’s an important day for justice. It’s an important day so they can rebuild their lives.”

Monica Beresford-Redman owned a popular Brazilian-themed restaurant in Los Angeles.

Chooljian’s ruling came after defense lawyers withdrew a request to call as a witness the 6-year-old daughter of Bruce Beresford-Redman amid unspecified concerns about the girl’s ability to testify in defense of her father.

After months of attempting to discredit Mexican authorities and attacking the case, Beresford-Redman made another attempt Tuesday to persuade the magistrate judge that he should be freed.

The couple had gone on the trip to try to repair their marriage, which had been damaged by an affair Bruce Beresford-Redman had with a co-worker.

His attorneys claim Mexican authorities rushed to judgment and built a case accusing Bruce Beresford-Redman based on motive rather than physical evidence.

Calling the couple’s 6-year-old daughter to testify during the hearing could have been problematic.

Witnesses are not generally called during extradition proceedings, and calling a child witness might have presented issues of who would question the girl and whether her testimony should be conducted in a closed session.

Statements filed by her therapist and one of Bruce Beresford-Redman’s attorneys suggested the girl would have testified that she never saw her father act violently toward her mother during the Cancun vacation.

The girl also told the therapist and attorney that she recalled her mother leaving the hotel room to go shopping on the day she went missing.

The defendants attorneys argue that the producer had no obligation to remain in Cancun while his wife’s death was investigated, although federal prosecutors and Mexican authorities both say his return to Los Angeles was illegal and should count against him in the extradition proceeding.

Prosecutors say there is overwhelming evidence against the producer that justifies his being sent to Mexico. In court filings, they cite a resort worker’s recollection that he saw someone matching Bruce Beresford-Redman’s description attempting to strike a woman during an argument at the hotel.

They also point to a noise complaint from tourists in another room that cited screams that appeared to be coming from a woman in distress coming from the Beresford-Redmans’ hotel room.”

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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TV producer accused in wife’s death seeks daughter’s testimony to prevent his extradition to Mexico

July 11, 2011

A reality TV producer is hoping his 6-year-old daughter will be allowed to testify at his extradition hearing this week and unravel authorities’ theory that he murdered his wife in their Cancun, Mexico, suite.

Bruce Beresford-Redman, who made a name for himself overseeing “Survivor,” has seemingly adopted the show’s title as his mantra as authorities seek to extradite him to Mexico on charges that he suffocated Monica Beresford-Redman in April 2010 and dumped her body into a wastewater treatment tank.

The family vacation was a last-ditch effort to repair the Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., couple’s troubled 11-year marriage, according to U.S. prosecutors and Mexican police, who said Bruce Beresford-Redman’s wife had caught her husband cheating and left him briefly in the month before her death.

But his lawyers say there was a “rush to judgment” after his wife’s body was discovered, and they will ask a federal judge Tuesday to reject extradition.

“They have mostly circumstantial evidence based on some noises heard from the hotel and some scratches on him,” said attorney Vicki L. Podberesky.

The daughter’s testimony will show there is no probable cause to support his extradition, Podberesky said, and that she last saw her mother when the woman left the suite for a solo shopping trip April 5, 2010. Monica Beresford-Redman, 41, never returned.

Bruce Beresford-Redman’s defense in court papers portrays the Cancun jurisdiction as having a history of corruption and attacks on tourists.

In 2006, a Canadian couple was killed at another Cancun resort and authorities accused two Canadian women of double murder. The crime was later found to have been committed by a hotel security guard.

Witness testimony in extradition hearings is at the judge’s discretion, and child witnesses are rare in federal court.

A judge in an extradition proceeding needs to find only probable cause, veteran attorneys said.

Bruce Beresford-Redman’s attorneys said in court papers that the girl can explain her father’s cuts and scratches and the loud noises that emanated from their suite.

The girl told her therapist and one of the producer’s lawyers that the noises were part of loud games, according to a defense motion filed last Wednesday. The screams other hotel guests heard were her brother yelling, she said.

As to the cuts, she “recalls that her father obtained scratches during a trip they took to an underground river,” and she remembers putting bandages on her father’s arms and legs.

Without the noise and scratches, the producers’ lawyers say, “there is a complete lack of forensic evidence.” They note that blood evidence examined in the room and on a pillowcase did not match either Beresford-Redman.

The lawyers say the girl would also testify that her parents did not yell at or hit each in Mexico and that her mother left wearing a blue dress the day she disappeared. Her last words to her daughter were, “I love you; I’ll be back soon.”

Federal prosecutors, however, said the move to call the girl is intended to distract the court from “overwhelming evidence” that the 40-year-old producer “killed his wife” and fled Mexico despite agreeing to remain there.

Prosecutors painted a picture of a desperate man who was caught in an affair and killed his restaurateur wife, then tried to cover his tracks.

Six weeks before her killing, Monica Beresford-Redman told her sister that she caught her husband cheating after discovering romantic emails.

The sister, Jean Ferreira Burgos, told Mexican investigators that Monica Beresford-Redman again discovered email exchanges with the other woman.

The day before his wife disappeared, the reality TV producer nearly hit his wife outside the resort, a hotel employee told Mexican investigators.

The next morning, April 5, an English family reported being awakened about 6 a.m. by screams and crying from the producer’s room.

The producer allegedly told a hotel staffer that he had been arguing with his wife over the children’s behavior.

That morning his wife went shopping about 8 a.m. and never returned, Bruce Beresford-Redman told authorities. His wife left without a passport, cellphone or key card.

That entire day, a “do not disturb” sign hung on their hotel room door.
In the early hours of April 6, a key card was used to open the room’s door, including four times around 4 a.m.

Two days later, Monica Beresford-Redman’s nude body was found in the sewage tank. There was a wound on the face and some hair had been pulled out. She had been suffocated. Her credit card and most of her money were gone, but not her wedding band.

The majority of this article was written by Richard Winton and published by the Los Angeles Times on July 11, 2011.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Bruce Beresford-Redman Extradition Update

July 7, 2011

Regular readers may recall the posting Bruce Beresford-Redman is Planning to Ask a U.S. Federal Judge to Allow His 6-year-old Daughter to Testify at an Upcoming Extradition Proceeding that came out several weeks ago.

On July 6, 2011, the defense filed Bruce Beresford Redman’s Request to Present Testimony at Extradition Hearing.

The extradition hearing is currently scheduled for July 12, 2011 at 9:30 am before Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Bruce Beresford-Redman is Planning to Ask a U.S. Federal Judge to Allow His 6-year-old Daughter to Testify at an Upcoming Extradition Proceeding

June 21, 2011

ABC News on June 21, 2011 released the following story:

“By ANTHONY McCARTNEY AP Entertainment Writer

A reality television producer charged with killing his wife in Mexico will ask a U.S. federal judge to allow the couple’s 6-year-old daughter to testify at an upcoming extradition proceeding, his attorneys said Tuesday.

They want the young girl to be allowed to testify that she did not see her parents arguing while on a family vacation in April 2010 that ended with the body of Monica Beresford-Redman being found in a sewer at a swank Cancun resort.

Attorneys for ex-“Survivor” producer Bruce Beresford-Redman acknowledge that getting the girl on the witness stand is a long-shot. But attorneys Richard Hirsch and Vicki Podberesky said at a news conference Tuesday outside their law offices that a federal judge should allow them to present witnesses and evidence that exonerate the producer in his wife’s killing.

The girl, who was 5-years-old at the time of her mother’s death, was interviewed by a child therapist who states in court filings that the girl did not witness any violence involving her parents in their hotel room. Prosecutors contend Bruce Beresford-Redman may have killed his wife in the room they shared with their two young children, then dumped her in a sewage cistern.

If their request to present evidence and witnesses is rejected, the Emmy-nominated producer’s extradition hearing would be a short one, focusing on whether Mexico’s request to have him returned to stand trial on an aggravated homicide charge is in proper order.

Hirsch and Podberesky on Tuesday again attacked Mexico’s investigation of the case, saying there was no physical evidence that their client killed his wife. They acknowledge he had a motive — the Mexico trip had been planned to try to save the marriage after Monica Beresford-Redman discovered her husband was having a long-term affair. But the attorneys say nothing in the hotel room or at the cistern supports a case that Bruce Beresford-Redman killed his wife.

Hirsch said Tuesday that he worried about the producer’s safety if he is returned to Mexico, saying the jails in Cancun are dangerous and describing the city and surrounding areas as rife with corruption and drug violence.

The extradition hearing is scheduled for July 12, but Beresford-Redman’s attorneys are seeking a delay so that his parents can attend the proceedings. They are required to be in a Los Angeles probate court that day for a hearing on the validity of Monica Beresford-Redman’s will, which her family has challenged.

Her family has attacked the effort to bring the couple’s daughter into the homicide case.

“While we respect his right to defend himself, such a tactic is indefensible,” Alison Triessl, an attorney who represents Monica Beresford-Redman’s family, wrote in a statement. It is our hope that the Court will deny his shameless request and focus on the overwhelming evidence in this case.””

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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