Judge rules no change of custody for 2 children of TV producer and slain wife

By Solvej Schou, AP
Friday, May 28, 2010

Judge: No change of custody for kids of slain mom

LOS ANGELES — A judge refused Friday to take temporary guardianship away from the paternal grandparents of two young children whose mother was found slain in Mexico.

During an emotional hearing, Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff made the ruling in the case of the children of former “Survivor” producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, who has been considered a suspect by Mexican investigators in the death of his wife Monica Beresford-Redman.

He has denied any involvement.

A lawyer for David and Juanita Beresford-Redman, whose temporary guardianship of their son Bruce Beresford-Redman’s children was extended during a hearing last week, filed an ex-parte motion Thursday in which their son asked to resume parental responsibility and they requested to resign their temporary guardianship status.

Bruce Beresford-Redman said in the motion he had been living with the children, Camila and Alec, since last Sunday. He returned to Southern California after being detained in Mexico.

The body of Bruce Beresford-Redman’s wife and the children’s mother, Monica, was found April 8 in a sewer at the Moon Palace Hotel resort in Cancun, where the couple and their children were vacationing.

On Friday, Beckloff ordered that competing petitions for permanent guardianship by the grandparents and by Monica Beresford-Redman’s sister Carla Burgos still proceed to a hearing June 17 to set a trial date. The grandparents then withdrew their ex-parte motion.

“The situation with the father may be in flux,” Beckloff noted.

The judge also refused Burgos’ request for the children to attend a Sunday memorial service for their mother, despite pleas by Burgos in court. He said a therapist hired by the grandparents said in a court declaration that it would not be in the children’s best interest to attend such a service at this time.

“It causes me great concern to second guess a professional,” Beckloff said.

Burgos, flanked by her sister Jeane, said the private service would be held at a spiritual center, limited to a choir, close family and friends, and would be closed to the media. She raised her voice, with emotion, when explaining why having the children there to celebrate their mother would mean so much.

“Losing her is the most pain to have. She was everything to them,” she said.

Jeane Burgos, after the hearing, told reporters the memorial would still take place Sunday, despite the children not being there.

“My sister was so loved, we can do many memorials,” she said.

Bruce Beresford Redman’s attorney Richard Hirsch told reporters that his client, who has not been charged with a crime, did not show up because of media scrutiny.

“He’s very upset, he’s very distraught,” Hirsch said. “He’s trying to live a life with his children.”

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