Extradition Ordered for Former TV Producer Accused in Wife’s Murder

July 27, 2011

A federal judge in Los Angeles issued an order yesterday certifying that a former reality show producer has met the legal requirements to be extradited to Mexico to face charges of killing his wife while they were vacationing in Cancun.

Bruce Beresford-Redman’s lawyers said they would appeal the judge’s order.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian wrote in the 17-page document that “sufficient evidence has been presented to establish probable cause that Beresford-Redman … committed the offense for which extradition has been sought, namely the aggravated homicide of Monica Burgos Beresford-Redman. … the court concludes that Beresford-Redman is extraditable for the offense for which extradition has been requested.”

Defense attorney Richard G. Hirsch said he has two or three weeks to file an appeal with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If that fails, the case could eventually be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Beresford Redman is charged in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, with aggravated homicide in the death of his 41-year-old wife of 11 years. Her nude, beaten body was found at a Cancun resort on April 8, 2010, three days after her husband reported her missing.

Mexican authorities collected evidence that allegedly suggests that Beresford-Redman killed the West Los Angeles restaurant owner and then dumped her body in a sewer 25 meters from their room at the hotel where they were staying with their two children.

At a July 12 hearing in Los Angeles federal court, Hirsch and co-counsel Vicki Podberesky argued against extradition, claiming statements from the couple’s 6-year-old daughter suggest the couple were getting along during the trip and there was no evidence of a fight.

“If the court looks at this evidence through the lens of common sense,” no proof exists to suggest Beresford-Redman committed the murder, Hirsch argued then.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin R. Rhoades countered that Beresford-Redman allegedly killed his wife for three reasons — insurance money, custody of the children, and to continue an extramarital affair with a co-worker. “So, the fugitive had a motive to murder his wife,” Rhoades told Chooljian earlier this month.

The prosecutor further argued that there were “very strong grounds” to suggest Beresford-Redman was “lying in wait” for the victim and had an “unfair advantage” over her in terms of strength and size.

Rhoades said that during the final year of the couple’s marriage, Beresford-Redman became increasingly aggressive toward his wife, particularly after she found out about her husband’s affair.

According to papers filed by U.S. prosecutors, Monica Beresford-Redman was struck on the head with a bat-like object, her face was pummeled and her body sustained trauma consistent with being thrown against the hotel-room Jacuzzi. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation.

The prosecutor alleged the “victim fought back,” leaving scratches and bruises on her husband’s head and body. Defense attorneys maintain the injuries were the result of a Cancun jungle boat trip the family took days earlier.

Police searched the couple’s hotel room and allegedly found blood spatter throughout the bathroom, on a pillow, on a piece of furniture and on a balcony leading to a garden, according to court documents.

On the day his wife disappeared, prosecutors allege Beresford-Redman placed a “Do Not Disturb” placard on their hotel room door and refused to allow the maid to clean until a day later.

Rhoades said that hours before he reported his wife missing, the suspect’s electronic room key card shows the door was opened and closed several times around 4 a.m., possibly to “see if the coast is clear before disposing of a dead

Podberesky discounted such potential evidence, saying that all Mexican prosecutors have against her client is “the idea of motive.”

Beresford-Redman left Cancun after his wife’s death and was arrested seven months later by U.S. authorities at his Rancho Palos Verdes home.

“His last act in Mexico was to flee across the border … from prosecution,” Rhoades said earlier.

The couple’s two young children are in the custody of their paternal grandparents.

To view the full text of Magistrate Judge Chooljian’s opinion click here.

This article was published by Fox LA on July 26, 2011.

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 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.

Bookmark and Share


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.

Bookmark and Share


Extradition of Former “Survivor” Producer to Mexico Underway

February 1, 2011

Mexican authorities have offered the most detailed account of their case against a former “Survivor” producer accused of killing his wife in Cancun, including chronicles of their tumultuous relationship.

The shipment of more than 400 pages of investigative documents by Mexican officials led federal prosecutors in Los Angeles on Monday to formally request that Bruce Beresford-Redman be extradited to Mexico and stand trial on an aggravated homicide charge. He is suspected of killing his wife, Monica, during a family vacation last April.

While many of the details have been previously released by U.S. prosecutors, the Mexican documents include detailed witness statements and forensic reports that Beresford-Redman’s attorneys have been seeking.

Beresford-Redman has not yet entered a formal plea. His attorneys have attacked Mexico’s investigation and its case, saying there was evidence that would exonerate their client.

Prosecutors alleged Beresford-Redman killed his wife on April 5, 2010, at a swank resort in Cancun and later placed her in a septic tank. Her body was found on April 8.

An autopsy found evidence that she had been punched in the face and asphyxiated, according to statements and reports released Monday.

In a statement to police, Beresford-Redman admitted arguing with his wife at the resort, but denied he was ever violent toward her.

Beresford-Redman has been jailed since November 16 on a fugitive warrant. Beresford-Redman will most likely fight the extradition to Mexico.

To view the extradition request and investigative documents, please click here.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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.

Bookmark and Share