Brown released after surrender; Capobiancos' lawyer fumes over 'false' claim
TULSA, OK (AP/WCSC/KOTV) - Dusten Brown, Veronica's biological father, has been released on bond after surrendering to authorities in Oklahoma.
Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart said Dusten Brown was arrested at 10:15 a.m. and taken to court for a hearing. Lockhart says he and the judge then consulted with the governor's office, and Brown was released.
He has another court hearing set for October 3.
Brown's brief surrender came one day after Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed an extradition warrant to send him to South Carolina, where he is wanted on a felony charge of custodial interference for failing to appear with Veronica at a court-ordered visit with her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, in Charleston last month.
Earlier Thursday, Brown's attorney, Clark Brewster, told the The Tulsa World the governor's signature did not ensure Brown would immediately be taken back to South Carolina, and he was proven correct.
Brewster says the court-ordered visit was not finalized at the time the Charleston County Sheriff's Office issued the arrest warrant, and that Brown should be facing a misdemeanor charge of contempt of court, instead of the felony charge.
Fallin signed the extradition warrant on Wednesday, reasoning that Brown had not acted in "good faith" in mediations with the Capobiancos.
Fallin said Brown more recently failed to allow the Capobiancos to meet Veronica during court-ordered visits in Oklahoma.
Matt Capobianco threatened to leave with the girl Saturday, when the couple had a scheduled visitation at the Cherokee Nation headquarters, Brewster said.
Lori McGill, a lawyer for the Capobiancos, called the "conveniently-timed accusations" outrageous and false. She continued, "Unlike Mr. Brewster's client, Matt and Melanie Capobianco have consistently and immediately obeyed court orders in both South Carolina and Oklahoma."
"Desperate people do desperate things, and I expect more of the same from Mr. Brewster in the coming days. And given that Mr. Brown has miraculously been released on bond yet again in the face of an executed governor's warrant, I'd expect the state's lawyers to take a very hard look at what's going on here," McGill concluded.
Charleston County sheriff's deputies have been in Oklahoma since last week. Fallin's order does not change Veronia's current placement with Brown's family.
Last week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court granted an emergency stay to keep Veronica with Brown. Brown and the Capobiancos participated in a hearing Tuesday to decide which court should handle the case: South Carolina's, Oklahoma's, or the Cherokee Nation's.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court asked Nowata County to provide the final decree of adoption filed in Charleston County Family Court earlier this summer.
Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press and KOTV contributed to this report.