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September 4, 2013

Father of Cherokee girl to be extradited to SC

OKLAHOMA CITY —

Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed the extradition order for Cherokee citizen Dusten Brown, the biological father of Veronica.

Brown is contesting Veronica’s adoption to a non-native South Carolina couple, Matt and Melanie Capobianco. Brown’s arguments have now been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as courts in South Carolina and Oklahoma.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley requested Brown’s extradition from Oklahoma to South Carolina Aug. 13. Brown, who has had custody of the child for two years, is facing charges of custodial interference in South Carolina.

Veronica is now in the custody of her biological grandparents, Alice and Tommy Brown. The extradition will not affect the child’s placement.

“My goal in the Baby Veronica case has been to encourage both Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family to reach a quick settlement and come to an agreement that protects Veronica’s best interests,” Fallin said in a written statement. “I said previously that I was willing to delay Mr. Brown’s extradition to South Carolina as long as all parties were working together in good faith to pursue such a settlement.”

Fallin’s parameters for “good faith” stipulated both the Browns and the Capobiancos would visit and see the child, and that both parties would pursue a resolution outside of court, as well as obey the courts and the law.

“Unfortunately, it has become clear that Dusten Brown is not acting in good faith,” wrote Fallin. “He has disobeyed an Oklahoma court order to allow the Capobiancos to visit their adopted daughter and continues to deny visitation. He is acting in open violation of both Oklahoma and South Carolina courts, which have granted custody of Veronica to the Capobiancos. Finally, he has cut off negotiations with the Capobiancos and shown no interest in pursuing any other course than yet another lengthy legal battle.”

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