Judge: Ex-'Survivor' producer facing extradition 'not credible'
In the 17-page ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian said she doubted the credibility of Bruce Beresford-Redman and said his 6-year-old daughter's recollections do not disprove that a fight may have occurred the day he last saw his wife alive.
Beresford-Redman's attorneys said they will seek to have Chooljian's decision overturned. Beresford-Redman remains in federal lockup.
Chooljian said she found sufficient evidence of probable cause that the onetime "Survivor" producer, who is charged with aggravated homicide in the death of Monica Burgos Beresford-Redman, 41, committed the crime.
In April 2010, his wife's naked body was found head-first in a wastewater tank a short distance from the couple's Cancun hotel room.
The producer said his wife had left for a solo shopping trip three days before her body was found, leaving him with their two children.
The judge also cast doubt on the contention by Bruce Bereford-Redman's attorneys that the daughter's statement shows there was no argument or fighting in the room.
"Although Beresford-Redman’s daughter may well have participated in playing noisy games with her family and may have seen her mother leave the Hotel Room in a blue dress at some point during the family’s trip," the judge wrote, "the Court does not credit the child’s statements to the extent they are offered to corroborate Beresford Redman’s version of the events or independently to explain the noise emanating from the Hotel Room on the morning of April 5, 2010, or to exculpate Beresford Redman."
The judge wrote, "The child does not state that the events recounted occurred on the morning in issue."
At a July 12 hearing in federal court in Los Angeles, Assistant U.S. Atty. Justin R. Rhoades said Bruce Beresford-Redman killed his wife for insurance money, custody of the children and to continue his extramarital affair with a coworker.
Rhoades said hotel guests heard a violent argument on the morning the producer claimed his wife went shopping.
But his attorneys Richard Hirsch and Vicki Podberesky, citing statements from the couple's daughter, argued that the Beresford-Redmans were getting along during the trip and that the noise was due to a child's game.
But the prosecutor alleged the producer's scratches and bruises came from his wife as he killed her.
His attorneys argued that the injuries, based on the daughter's statements, occurred during a boat trip the family took days earlier.
On the day his wife disappeared, Beresford-Redman placed a "Do Not Disturb'' sign outside their hotel room and refused to allow a maid in to clean the room, prosecutors said.
Rhoades said that in the hours before he reported his wife missing, Beresford-Redman's electronic room key shows the door was opened and closed four times times around 4 a.m. to "see if the coast is clear before disposing of a dead body."
Bruce Beresford-Redman left Cancun after his wife's death and was arrested last year at his Rancho Palos Verdes home.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Bruce Beresford-Redman at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes in May 2010. Credit: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press