By ANTHONY McCARTNEY, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A reality television producer charged with killing his wife while on vacation in Mexico has been extradited from the U.S. to await trial, the next step in a legal saga that has played out on both sides of the border.
The U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement they turned former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman over to Mexican authorities, who are transporting him to Cancun. The transfer took place roughly two weeks after State Department officials signed a warrant clearing his extradition.
The producer has been charged in Mexico in the death of his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman, whose body was found in a sewer cistern at a swank resort following an April 2010 family vacation. The couple had gone to the resort with their young children in an attempt to save their marriage after Monica Beresford-Redman learned her husband was cheating on her.
Bruce Beresford-Redman opted in December not to appeal a U.S. court ruling upholding his extradition. Mexican authorities later said they had reached an agreement for his return.
"Bruce eagerly wants to set the record straight, confront the charges in a fair trial and return to his children," spokesman Stephen Jaffe wrote in an email.
Beresford-Redman, an Emmy-nominated producer, has denied that he killed his wife and his attorneys have attacked evidence in the case. His U.S. attorneys fought his return to Mexico, but two federal judges ruled there was ample reason to send him abroad for trial.
Beresford-Redman has also employed attorneys in Mexico to challenge the validity of the case there.
Beresford-Redman was arrested on a fugitive warrant in the Los Angeles area in November 2010. Mexican and U.S. authorities say he left Mexico without permission, although Beresford-Redman's lawyers have claimed he was under no obligation to stay and needed to return to the U.S. to help care for his children.
The family of Monica Beresford-Redman said the extradition "marks a major milestone in our journey to ensure justice for Monica."
"After nearly 15 months in United States custody, Bruce will finally be returned to Mexico to stand trial for Monica's murder," attorney Alison Triessl wrote in a statement released on behalf of the family.
Triessl said the family will follow the case in Mexico and will ask for the maximum sentence if Beresford-Redman is convicted. The maximum sentence could be 12 to 30 years in prison.
"He has always stated that he is innocent of the charges against him and it is his hope that the court in Cancun will assure that he receives a fair trial in which, he is confident, he will be exonerated," Beresford-Redman's attorney, Richard Hirsch wrote in a statement.
U.S. prosecutors presented statements from hotel guests who said they heard loud arguing and cries of distress coming from the couple's room on the night Monica Beresford-Redman went missing.
The producer's attorneys have claimed the noises came from Beresford-Redman and his children playing loud games throughout the night and that there isn't any forensic evidence that he killed his wife.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP
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