US producer sentenced to 12 years in Cancun slaying of wife

AP News
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Posted: Mar 13, 2015 1:35 PM
US producer sentenced to 12 years in Cancun slaying of wife

CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — A former "Survivor" producer has been convicted of murdering his wife during a 2010 Cancun beach vacation, and his attorney says he plans to appeal.

Bruce Beresford-Redman was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday by Judge Víctor Manuel Echeverria Tun, Quintana Roo state prosecutor Gaspar Armando Garcia Torres said.

The American producer was on vacation in Cancun with his Brazilian-born wife, Monica Burgos Beresford-Redman, and their two children in 2010 when her body was found in a sewer cistern at the resort where they were staying.

The vacation was supposed to be an attempt to repair their marriage after she learned her husband had cheated on her.

The family of Burgos issued a statement through their lawyer, Alison Triessl, late Thursday.

"It has been nearly 5 years since they lost their beloved sister," Triessl said. "Not a day goes by that they don't miss her terribly and nothing will bring her back, but they can finally say that she has received the justice she deserved."

Beresford-Redman's attorneys in Mexico, Jaime Cancino Leon and Carlos Alberto Grajales Betancourt, said in a statement issued late Thursday that they would appeal his sentence on the grounds that it was "without evidence to support it and the trial was filled with irregularities."

Prosecutor Garcia Torres, meanwhile, left open the possibility prosecutors would appeal for a longer prison term after analyzing the judge's decision.

"We wanted a maximum sentence," Garcia Torres said. "We asked for a maximum sentence that we considered should be 50 years for murder."

He expressed confidence that prosecutors during the three-year process had proved Beresford-Redman killed his wife. "We're convinced of his guilt."

Beresford-Redman maintained his innocence. But in 2011 a U.S. court upheld his extradition and shortly after he was sent back to Mexico in 2012, a judge ordered the Emmy-nominated producer to stand trial on a murder charge.

Evidence in the case included statements from hotel guests who said they heard loud arguing and cries of distress coming from the couple's room on the night the 42-year-old victim went missing.

The producer's lawyers maintained the noises came from Beresford-Redman and his children playing loud games throughout the night and argued there was not any forensic evidence that he killed his wife.

Beresford-Redman had been ordered to stay in Mexico when his wife's body was found, but he returned to Los Angeles, where he surrendered to authorities after an arrest warrant was issued in Mexico.

He produced several episodes of the CBS reality show "Survivor" and was a co-creator of the MTV show "Pimp My Ride."

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Associated Press writer Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles contributed to this report.