"I am devastated at her loss; and I am incensed at the suggestion that I could have had anything to do with her death," former Survivor and Pimp My Ride producer Bruce Beresford-Redman says in a statement. "I am innocent."
Beresford-Redman’s wife, Monica, a 41-year-old Los Angeles restaurant owner and mother of two, was found dead in a sewer April 8 at a Cancun resort where the couple had been vacationing.
Her husband became a person of interest in the case from early on. He recently returned to the United States against the wishes of Mexican authorities who had confiscated his passport.
Miscarriage of Justice?"Monica was the axis around which our whole family revolved. From her sisters and parents to my parents and of course to our children and me, she was everything to us," Bruce Beresford-Redman, 39, said in the statement. "My children have had one parent taken from them by a senseless act of violence. I implore the Mexican authorities not to take their remaining parent by a miscarriage of justice and to do what is right not just what is expedient."
A judge in Cancun issued the "order of arrest" for the crime of "qualified homicide," Francisco Antonio Alor Quezada, attorney general for the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, tells the Los Angeles Times.
Monica Beresford-Redman was apparently strangled. The cause of death was “asphyxia by suffocation,” Alor told the newspaper.
Mexican authorities will seek to extradite Beresford-Redman if necessary and the international police agency Interpol has been informed, says Alor.
Lawyer: Rush to JudgmentHis lawyer Richard G. Hirsch called the warrant "extremely disturbing" and said it appeared to have been issued "outside the normal procedures in Mexico." He said his client was "innocent of this crime and is prepared to defend himself in a court of law."
"It is our understanding that the issuance of an arrest warrant normally entails a detailed judicial review that takes anywhere from several weeks to several months," he said. "It appears that the way this matter is being handled constitutes a rush to judgment.
A memorial service was held for Monica on Sunday in Culver City, Calif. A Los Angeles judge ruled the couple's children, Camila, 5, and Alec, 3, who are under the temporary guardianship of Bruce's parents, were not allowed to attend based on the recommendation of a psychologist and a court ruling on Friday.
Reporting by ELAINE ARADILLAS