Court rejects 'Dog The Bounty Hunter' star's extradition injunction
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/16/2007
Every dog has his day, and it appears that Dog the Bounty Hunter star Duane "Dog" Chapman will have his as well -- in court.
After a stay on his extradition was granted in October, a federal court has cleared the way for Chapman to be extradited and face illegal detention charges that stem from his 2006 arrest for the 2003 capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, The Associated Press reported Friday.
Norma Jara, a spokeswoman for the second district court in Guadalajara, said the court "rejected" Chapman's injunction request, ruling "there was no reason not to try him" on the illegal detention of Luster.
"We only just heard about the Mexican court's decision to continue with the extradition proceedings, and are still in shock," Chapman and his wife, Beth, said in a statement issued Thursday night in Honolulu, HI. "Our attorneys have not even been formally informed of the court's decision, as of yet. We are obviously deeply disappointed and fearful of what will happen, and are currently absorbing the news and discussing our options at this time."
Once Chapman has been formally notified of the court's decision, he has five days to file an appeal that could block his extradition for a second time. While The AP reports Mexican authorities have already asked for Chapman's extradition from his Hawaiian home, the bounty hunter's lawyers argue he "would not be guaranteed a fair trial" in Mexico.
Following the 53-year-old's September 2006 arrest, he was detained briefly in Mexico for the 2003 capture of Luster, who was wanted in the U.S. for rape and is now serving a 124-year sentence. Chapman, his son and another colleague posted $300,000 bail and subsequently returned to the United States.
Chapman said he was willing to apologize to the Mexican government to help settle the criminal complaint against him. U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, also urged the Bush administration to block the bounty hunter's extradition. In October, a Mexican court granted Chapman a stay in his criminal case as well as the extradition proceedings against him, but that stay is apparently over.
If convicted, Chapman could face four years in a Mexican jail. However The AP reports his Mexican lawyer, Jorge Huerta, doubts he would get the maximum because "illegal detention is a relatively minor crime" in Mexico, and if Chapman is convicted, he "would likely only have to pay a fine of several hundred dollars."