Ex-'Survivor' producer challenges extradition in wife slaying
Attorneys for a former “Survivor” producer charged with slaying his wife at a Cancun resort sought Monday to overturn a judge's decision in July to grant extradition, saying she ignored conflicting evidence and ignored the fact that, despite a major wound, the victim's blood was never found in the room.
Attorney Vicki Podberesky, who represents Bruce Beresford-Redman, argued in a filing that there is no physical evidence to support returning the reality television producer to Mexico from Los Angeles in connection with the killing of his wife in April 2010. Her body was found in a sewage cistern near the hotel.
"No blood evidence belonging to Monica Burgos Beresford-Redman was recovered from inside the room, outside the room or at the sewage cistern, notwithstanding the existence of a chop wound and the fact that hair on the frontal part of the skull had been pulled out, which would have likely caused significant bleeding," Podberesky wrote.
The filing accuses U.S. Magistrate Jacqueline Chooljian of "culling through the facts and selecting those most supportive of probable cause while rejecting those which were exculpatory or did not fit the government's theory of culpability."
Beresford-Redman has been in federal custody in Los Angeles since November on a fugitive warrant. Chooljian ruled in late July there was probable cause to support his extradition.
The attorneys questioned the credibility of several key pieces of evidence and witness statements. They noted that the judge had found that the slaying essentially occurred in the hotel room. The judge noted that hotel guests had heard loud arguing and cries of distress coming from the couple's room on the night Monica Beresford-Redman disappeared. Her body was found a few days later in a sewer facility a short distance from the room the couple had shared with their two young children.
The producer's lawyers have said that Beresford-Redman and his daughter say the noise was children playing a loud game. They say Chooljian based much of her decision on the fact that the couple were experiencing marital difficulties because of an affair the producer had with a colleague.
The judge cited one hotel employee witnessing them arguing. But the producer's lawyers noted that the witness -- unlike in a U.S. investigation -- was only shown a picture of Beresford-Redman when asked if that was the man he had seen. They also note that the couple seen arguing did not have children with them.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Bruce and Monica Beresford-Redman. Credit: Los Angeles Times