A federal judge in Los Angeles today upheld the extradition of a former reality show producer accused of killing his wife while they were vacationing in Cancun last year.
Bruce Beresford-Redman had sought to overturn a judge's earlier decision to have him returned to Mexico to face a murder charge.
In a two-page order denying Beresford-Redman's habeas petition, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez wrote that there are "pages upon pages of competent evidence" pointing to the defendant's guilt in the April 2010 killing of 41-year-old Palms restaurant owner Monica Burgos.
Gutierrez summarized that evidence as "infidelity, fighting, screaming from the hotel room, the fugitive's opportunity to dispose of the victim's body, the ultimate location of the victim's body (25 meters from the hotel room), the victim leaving her cell phone behind, scratches and abrasions upon the fugitive's body, and the fugitive's flight."
"All of this evidence points to homicide committed by the fugitive," the judge wrote.
The defense team had argued, in challenging the July extradition order, that not enough physical evidence was presented to keep the former "Survivor" producer in federal custody or return him to Mexico.
Beresford-Redman, 40, is charged in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, with aggravated homicide in the death of Burgos, his wife of 11 years. Her nude, beaten body was found at a Cancun resort on April 8, 2010, three days after her husband reported her missing.
Mexican authorities collected evidence that allegedly proves that Beresford-Redman killed the Westside Brazilian restaurant owner and then dumped her body in a sewer near the room at the hotel where they were staying with their two young children.
At the July 12 extradition hearing, defense attorneys claimed statements from the couple's 6-year-old daughter suggest the couple were getting along during the trip and there was no evidence of a fight.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin R. Rhoades countered that Beresford- Redman probably killed his wife for three reasons -- insurance money, custody of the children and to continue an extramarital affair with a co-worker.
According to papers filed by U.S. prosecutors, Monica Beresford-Redman was struck on the head with a bat-like object, her face was pummeled and her body sustained trauma consistent with being thrown against the hotel-room Jacuzzi. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation.
Prosecutors allege the "victim fought back," leaving scratches and bruises on her husband's head and body. Defense attorneys maintain the injuries were the result of a boat trip the family took days earlier.
Police searched the couple's hotel room and found blood spatter throughout the bathroom, on a pillow, on a piece of furniture and on a balcony leading to a garden, according to court documents.
On the day his wife disappeared, prosecutors allege Beresford-Redman placed a "Do Not Disturb" placard on their hotel room door and refused to allow the maid to clean until a day later.
Beresford-Redman left Cancun after his wife's death and was arrested seven months later by U.S. authorities at his Rancho Palos Verdes home.
The couple's two young children are in the custody of their paternal grandparents.