Saturday, August 10, 2013

No exit for Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman

Appellate court rejects his latest effort to bring the case to an end

There were no smiles on this arrival at Cancún International Airport

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
Former Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman has lost a bid to have murder charges dismissed in a long running case being tried in state district court in this city.

In November 2010 Beresford-Redman was accused of killing his wife, Mónica Burgos, while the two were on vacation here in April of the same year. A local judge conducted a preliminary hearing in February 2012 and found sufficient evidence to hold the ex-producer for a full trial (Former producer of Survivor bound over for trial in Cancún murder). Beresford-Redman appealed that ruling, and tried to short circuit the case by other legal maneuvering as well (No release for Bruce Beresford-Redman).

On Aug. 7 a Quintana Roo intermediate appellate court ruled that Beresford-Redman is not entitled to a dismissal on technical grounds, and must await a verdict on the merits of the case, which has been in trial since early this year. This week's decision affirmed a lower court's denial of an amparo petition filed by his attorneys. Amparo is a Mexican legal procedure roughly akin to habeas corpus, an Anglo-American proceeding designed to test the legality of a prisoner's detention due to alleged violations of constitutional rights.

Prosecutors claim that Beresford-Redman killed Burgos during a heated argument. Her body was found in a drainage lagoon near Cancún's Moon Palace resort after he reported to authorities that she was missing. Both the cause and time of her death are hotly disputed by the defense. Prosecutors allege that an ongoing affair with another woman was one of Beresford-Redman's motives.

After the discovery of his wife's body Cancún police told Beresford-Redman that he was a suspect in the case, and instructed him not to leave the city. He did so anyway, fleeing to Los Angeles. He was arrested there in late 2010 on an international warrant, and waged a long but unsuccessful fight to avoid extradition to Mexico. Beresford-Redman was returned to Cancún in chains in early 2012.

The Brazil born Burgos was 43 at the time of her death. Prosecution evidence shows she suffered a violent blow to the head which caused her to lose consciousness immediately. Burgos died from a cerebral hemorrhage and asphyxia, according to medical evidence presented at the trial.

In February, the Q.R. press reported that the case was so weak that an acquittal appeared inevitable, largely due to forensic and investigative blunders. Mexico's case against Bruce Beresford-Redman in jeopardy over technical errors. But that has not come to pass.

This week's ruling by the appellate court dealt only with legal issues, not the evidence. The court also upheld a technical change to the indictment applied by the trial judge months ago, from "Homicide by Betrayal" to "Homicide with Advantage." In practice there is little difference between the two charges. Both mean that the victim was at a distinct tactical disadvantage compared to the assailant, and was unable to resist a wholly unanticipated attack by the latter - thereby enhancing the statutory penalty. Beresford-Redman faces a maximum sentence of 50 years if convicted.

There are no juries in Mexico. Criminal trials are often presented to a judge in stages, over months or even years. There is no indication when the case may end. Beresford-Redman is not entitled to bail and remains in custody in a Quintana Roo jail.

Mar. 30, 2014 - Bruce Beresford-Redman's bizarre bid to escape Mexican justice - in Los Angeles

June 19 - "Dangerous" American pedophile nabbed in Playa del Carmen
Apr. 12 - U.S. national sentenced to 13 years in Guanajuato murder
Feb. 15 - American expatriate murdered in Mérida had sex with 17 year old boy just before he died

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

No comments:

Post a Comment