Chapman, his son Leland and another colleague were arrested in 2006 in Puerto Vallarta -- where bounty hunting is illegal -- for the 2003 capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster, who was wanted in the U.S. for rape and is now serving a 124-year sentence. They were briefly detained in Mexico for Luster's capture before posting $300,000 bail and subsequently returning to the United States.
While a Mexican court granted Chapman a stay in his criminal case as well as in the extradition proceedings against him in October, four months later a federal court cleared the way for Chapman to be extradited and face illegal detention charges.
However according to Alberto Zinser and Jim Quadra -- Mexican and U.S. attorneys for the Chapman family -- the charges against Chapman, his son and the colleague were dismissed because the statute of limitation on the criminal counts pending against them had expired. As a result, all the pending charges against them were effectively canceled, awarding the bounty hunters "absolute and immediate freedom" by the Mexican court.
Doug Jacobs, senior vice president and general counsel at A&E, said prosecutors have until August 8 to decide whether to appeal, adding a full appeal could take two months to resolve.
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