Federal judge rules in favor of extradition to Mexico on murder charges; final decision will come from the U.S. Secretary of State
Bruce Beresford-Redman, the former "Survivor" producer accused of killing his wife while on vacation with his family in Cancun last April, is one step closer to being extradited back to Mexico to stand trial on the murder.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian ruled on Tuesday that there is sufficient evidence to warrant Beresford-Redman's extradition, the U.S. Attorney's Office told TheWrap.
The case now goes to the U.S. Secretary of State, who must make a final decision regarding Beresford-Redman’s possible extradition.
Prosecutors claim that Beresford-Redman's affair with another woman provided "strong motive" for the former reality TV producer to murder his wife. According to prosecutors' extradition filing, "The fugitive's affair was still an issue with the couple during their trip."
Beresford-Redman's attorneys acknowledge the infidelity but maintain that the couple had taken the vacation in an effort to mend their broken marriage. The reality producer's defense attorney, Richard Hirsch, called the prosecutors' claims "absurd," especially in light of the fact that the couple's two young children were also included on the trip.
"How absurd it is to think that our client, or anyone, would book a trip to Mexico with his two minor children, have a room in which all of them, the whole family, is staying together, and have this with some motive to commit a homicide," Hirsch said. "It makes no sense in logic, whatsoever."
During the extradition hearing, Beresford-Redman's defense team presented a sworn statement from the counselor of the couple's six-year-old daughter, which quoted the child as saying that she had never seen her parents fight during the vacation.
The affidavit also sought to explain how Beresford-Redman acquired cuts and scrapes that investigators suggested were the result of a physical altercation with his wife, Monica Burgos Beresford-Redman.
Beresford-Redman's defense attorneys said that they will appeal the order, a move that might keep the former producer in the United States for another year.