Fallin Receives Request To Surrender Nowata's Dusten Brown - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Fallin Receives Request To Surrender Nowata's Dusten Brown

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Specialist Dusten Brown is wanted in South Carolina for custodial interference. Specialist Dusten Brown is wanted in South Carolina for custodial interference.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Governor Mary Fallin's office says it has received a request from South Carolina's Governor to extradite the father of a little girl caught in a custody battle between the two states.

Dusten Brown turned himself in Monday on a South Carolina warrant for custodial interference.

The governor has 90 days to consider the request.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Governor Fallin said she will not act on South Carolina's request until September 12, when Dusten Brown will appear in a Sequoyah County court to contest the legality of his arrest warrant. The governor's office said Brown should have the opportunity to argue his case.

Brown's attorneys have advised him not to comment publicly until the South Carolina criminal case is resolved, but his attorney in that state has plenty to say about the arrest warrant, calling it wrong and disturbing.

When Dusten Brown and his 3-year-old daughter didn't show up for a court mandated transition meeting with Matt and Melanie Capobianco, as part of turning custody over to the couple, a judge in South Carolina issued a warrant for his arrest for custodial interference.

Brown turned himself in Monday to authorities in Sequoyah County.

John Nichols is Browns' attorney in Columbia South Carolina.

"There is a right way to do this, and this is not the right way," Nichols said.

Nichols said, to start, the South Carolina court used a criminal process to help settle a civil matter, and it shouldn't apply to Brown.

"It is being used in a manner that is very heavy handed," Nichols said.

8/12/2013 Related Story: Nowata Authorities Won't Take Baby Veronica Without Order From OK Courts

South Carolina's custodial interference code says it's unlawful for someone to take or transport, or cause to be taken or transported, a child from the legal custodian for the purpose of concealing the child.

"To begin with, he didn't take or transport this child anywhere, he had the child, and secondly, it says from the legal custodian. That question is in debate," Nichols said.

According to Browns' attorney, the "legal custodian" part of the statute is still up in the air, since Brown still has avenues in Oklahoma and Cherokee courts to keep custody of Veronica.

"Oklahoma has got to be given the opportunity to litigate that issue and decide whether it will recognize orders from South Carolina," Nichols said.

The attorney said Matt and Melanie Capobianco were given months to appeal and exhaust all legal remedies available to them back in 2011, before handing over custody of Veronica to her father. But Brown is not being given that same opportunity.

8/12/2013 Related Story: Baby Veronica Dad Turns Self In To Oklahoma Authorities, Resists Extradition

"They're trying to take his freedom away in order to coerce him to give it up," Nichols said.

An attorney appointed by tribal court to represent the best interests of Veronica said while so many people may refer to her as "Baby Veronica," she's nearly four years old.

Angel Smith said the needs Veronica had in the past are not the same needs she has today, and her voice needs to be heard.

"She did not ask that everyone would know her name, but she is here," Smith said in a statement. "Veronica has her own voice. It is time Veronica is heard, because it is, after all, Veronica's life."

While Governor Fallin considers the extradition request for Brown, Veronica remains with her paternal grandparents and Dusten Brown's wife.

Governor Fallin issued the following statement:

"As a mother, my heart goes out to Veronica, who has been placed in a terrible situation. I can also imagine the pain that both her adopted and biological parents are feeling.

"As governor, my job is to ensure the law is upheld. My legal staff and I are currently reviewing the request for rendition of Mr. Brown to South Carolina. Should that request adhere to the letter and spirit of the law, I will sign it. My hope, however, continues to be that sending Mr. Brown to face criminal charges in South Carolina is unnecessary.

"To be clear, the legal system cannot deliver a happy ending in this case. Only Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family can do that. For Veronica's sake, I urge them to reconcile and to come to an agreement that best serves their child and grants all parties some measure of peace."

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