Sat, Feb 11, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Emmy-nominated producer hopes to avoid murder trial

AP, CANCUN, MEXICO (AP)

Lawyers for a US reality television producer facing trial for allegedly murdering his wife at a Mexican resort said on Thursday they hope to persuade a judge to drop the charges and free their client.

Jaime Cancino Leon, an attorney for former Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, said he had found inconsistencies in the prosecution case, but did not elaborate.

Beresford-Redman appeared for a preliminary hearing, where a judge read the homicide charge filed against him. He did not immediately enter a plea.

The producer spoke briefly and complained he did not have a consular representative when investigators questioned him after the April 2010 murder in the Caribbean coast resort of Cancun.

Behind bars in an office room, Beresford-Redman said he was accused of a crime he did not commit. He said he lost his wife, Monica, who he loved very much, lost the custody of his children and his freedom.

Cancino Leon said the defense would ask for an additional three days to make their case for dismissal, which would extend to a total of six days the time that the judge has to either dismiss the charges or order a trial.

Carlos Grajales Betancourt, another defense lawyer, said the defense team also would present evidence in his client’s favor.

Quintana Roo State Attorney General Gaspar Armando Garcia Torres said he expected the judge to order the case to go to trial.

The sister of the victim, Jeanne Burgos, attended the hearing. One of her family’s two Mexican attorneys, Tomas Flores Allende, told reporters that the defense’s strategy was to shield the defendant in a “shroud of injustice.”

“It has been a long journey and we finally reached this important moment, where he is subject of the Mexican justice system. The man will be punished under our laws,” Flores Allende said.

The body of Monica Beresford-Redman was found in a sewer cistern at a swank resort during a family vacation. The couple had gone there with their young children in an attempt to save their marriage after she learned her husband had cheated on her.

He was flown to Cancun early on Thursday, escorted by about a dozen Mexican agents.

The US Marshals Service turned the Emmy-nominated producer over to Mexican federal police on Wednesday, about two weeks after US Department of State officials signed a warrant clearing his extradition.

Part of the evidence in the case includes 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 lawyers say the noises came from Beresford-Redman and his children playing loud games.

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