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TV producer ordered extradited to face charges in wife's murder

A federal judge finds probable cause that former 'Survivor' producer Bruce Beresford-Redman was involved in his wife's death. Monica Beresford-Redman was found in a sewage tank in Cancun, Mexico.

July 13, 2011|By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
  • Lawyers for TV producer Bruce Beresford-Redman said they plan to appeal a federal judge's ruling that he should be extradited to Mexico to stand trial in connection with his wife's slaying.
Lawyers for TV producer Bruce Beresford-Redman said they plan to appeal… (Damian Dovarganes, Associated…)

A federal judge found probable cause Tuesday to extradite a former producer of the "Survivor" TV show to Mexico to face charges that he killed his wife at a Cancun resort and dumped her body in a sewage tank.

A shackled Bruce Beresford-Redman, 41, showed little emotion as U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian announced the finding.

"Based on the totality of the circumstances," there is probable cause to find that the producer "committed the aggravated homicide of Monica Beresford-Redman," Chooljian said.

His lawyers said they planned to appeal, which means Beresford-Redman may not return to Cancun for another year.

He is accused of asphyxiating his wife in April 2010 and dumping her body in a nearby wastewater treatment tank while the family was on vacation in Mexico. The trip was a last-ditch effort to repair the Rancho Palos Verdes couple's troubled 11-year marriage, according to family members.

Chooljian made the ruling without hearing from the couple's 6-year-old daughter, who had been with her parents and younger brother in Mexico. After requesting that she testify, the producer's attorneys Tuesday decided to shield the girl from the trauma of the courtroom.

But the judge allowed defense attorneys to use the daughter's statements suggesting that the screams witnesses heard coming from the room were a child's game and that scratches on her father came from getting in and out of a boat on a visit to a sea cave.

"We would suggest the circumstances at the scene are more consistent with a robbery," said Richard Hirsch, Beresford-Redman's attorney.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Justin R. Rhoades said in court that the producer was desperate and murdered his wife to gain control of their money and children, and to continue his affair with a colleague.

"He finally snapped and killed her," Rhoades said.

Rhoades said the producer was still communicating with his lover as he tried to reconcile with his wife, who he was seen nearly hitting outside the resort.

The defense said that no blood from Beresford-Redman or his wife was found in the room, and that their children saw no violence or arguments.

richard.winton@latimes.com

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