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Judge issues warrant for Evi Quaid for failing to appear at hearing

Actor Randy Quaid and his wife, who are charged with vandalism and trespassing, say they fled to Canada to escape a group of 'Hollywood star whackers.'

November 03, 2010|By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Santa Barbara — There's got to be a movie — or at least a reality show — in the ongoing saga of actor Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi.

The latest episode occurred Tuesday, when a Santa Barbara judge issued a warrant for Evi's arrest — an action that will cost the couple her $500,000 bail. Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Donna Geck threatened to do the same for Randy if he misses a court hearing later this month.

The Quaids are charged with vandalism and related charges for allegedly squatting in and trashing a Montecito mansion that once was their home.

Scheduled for arraignment Tuesday, the eccentric Hollywood couple failed to appear at a hearing in the case for the third time. They were still in Canada, where they told reporters they had fled to escape a group of "Hollywood star whackers" — which they described as a cabal that destroys celebrities through fraud, theft and even murder.

Seeking asylum across the border, they were arrested in Vancouver as fugitives from their case in the U.S. However, Canadian immigration officials determined that Evi Quaid, 47, is already Canadian by virtue of her father's citizenship.  Meanwhile, Randy Quaid, 60, is to appear at a Canadian immigration hearing Nov. 8. Under the terms of his $10,000 bond for that hearing, he cannot leave Canada beforehand, his attorney, Robert M. Sanger, told the Santa Barbara County judge Tuesday.

Sanger acknowledged that Evi can come and go from Canada as she pleases, but said she and her husband are "inseparable."

"That's not a legal answer," he added.

"It certainly isn't," the judge said.

She ordered Evi's arrest, rejecting Sanger's plea to delay proceedings for two weeks so the couple can put Randy's Canadian hearing behind them. If they fail to appear at their rescheduled Nov. 16 hearing in Santa Barbara, Evi will be out an additional $500,000 in bail — raising her total to $1 million — and Randy will have lost $500,000.

The Quaids allegedly were living illegally in the guesthouse of a Montecito home they had purchased in 1989 and, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, sold years ago. Last August, they personally filed a 220-page lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court claiming that a number of people — a financial advisor, an attorney and bank officials — had bilked them out of the home. The next month, they were arrested at the residence for allegedly squatting there and damaging several items, including a $7,000 mirror.

They are charged with felony vandalism and misdemeanor trespassing. In addition, Evi is accused of resisting arrest as well as violating her probation from an earlier case that involved using an invalid credit card to pay a $10,000 bill at a posh hotel.

At Tuesday's hearing, Sanger said he had uncovered "significant evidence" indicating that the couple may still own the house they are accused of vandalizing. Their signatures on a deed from the 1990s "appear to be forged," he said, adding that he needed time to secure forensic analysis of the documents.

Santa Barbara County Deputy Dist. Atty. Anthony Davis would not comment on Sanger's assertion.

Quaid has appeared in many movies, including "Brokeback Mountain" and the National Lampoon's "Vacation" series, in which he played Clark Griswold's ne'er-do-well Cousin Eddie. He is actor Dennis Quaid's older brother.

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