Friday, October 20, 2006

"Dog" the Bounty Hunter has legal victory

Attorneys for TV reality star Duane 'Dog' Chapman on Friday said the Mexican federal court has granted them an order that halts the criminal case against Chapman until further evidence and witness testimony are gathered.

U.S. Marshals arrested Chapman here on Sept. 14 along with his son Leland and another associate after Mexico issued a warrant because of his capture of fugitive convicted rapist Andrew Luster, the Max Factor heir, on June 18, 2003, in Puerto Vallarta. Bounty hunting is considered a crime in Mexico.

Chapman was released on $300,000 bail after spending a night in a federal detention center. He and his crew have been facing extradition to Mexico since then.

At a circus-like news conference Friday, the star of the popular A&E show 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' said the 'tide is changing a little bit.' His side of the story, he said, is finally being told to the court through his lawyer, William Boller, who spent the past month in Mexico.

'If it comes out right, would I do it again? Your damn right,' Chapman said.

The possible extradition has ignited an uproar among members of Congress and Chapman's fans, who consider him a hero for capturing a rapist and doing a job the government could not. Twenty-nine congressmen have sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking her to deny the extradition.


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