Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Long legal fight possible for TV producer accused of killing wife in Cancun

June 2, 2010 |  6:51 am

A TV producer accused by Mexican authorities of killing his wife at a Cancun resort has several avenues available to him to fight extradition -- and that could cause significant delays in the homicide case, experts said.

Mexican prosecutors issued an arrest warrant Monday for Bruce Beresford-Redman. But federal authorities familiar with the case said they don't expect a quick resolution to the case.

Initially, U.S. authorities have to literally interpret the order for arrest from a Mexican judge and examine if it complies with U.S. law.

That process could involve input from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Justice in Washington and Los Angeles.

That back and forth takes time and those same entities could also weigh in if there are any changes made to the warrant and negotiate those changes with Mexican legal authorities.

Even if Beresford-Redman is arrested on a provisional warrant, he is entitled to fight extradition in federal court, the sources said.

He would be entitled to bail, and to present evidence and call witnesses.

Monica Beresford-Redman’s body was found April 8 in a septic tank at the luxury hotel where they were staying outside the resort in Cancun. Family members have said the couple had gone to Mexico in an effort to reconcile their troubled marriage. Mexican officials said she died of "asphyxia by suffocation."

Monica Beresford-Redman's family said in a statement that if Beresford-Redford is innocent, "then he should have no problem waiving extradition proceedings and returning to Mexico to defend himself." But Beresford-Redman, who through his lawyer has proclaimed his innocence, is likely to take full advantage of the legal process.

Beresford-Redman has repeatedly denied he had anything to do with his wife's death. He remains in Los Angeles this week and has not said whether he would fight extradition.

Francisco Antonio Alor Quezada, attorney general for the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, said a judge in Cancun had issued an "order of arrest" against Beresford-Redman, 39, in connection with the crime of "qualified homicide" in the death of his wife.

-- Andrew Blankstein