Mediation Hearings Continue In 'Baby Veronica' Custody Case


Friday, September 20th 2013, 6:13 pm
By: News On 6


 

Editors note: The information for this story is from the transcript of a South Carolina family court judge's bench ruling on September 29, 2011.

In the family court's final order, published on November 25, 2011, there was no mention of Dusten Brown being a "thwarted father".

When the South Carolina Supreme Court issued its ruling, after the appeal, on July 26, 2012 it said, "Here, the family court found Father was not entitled to the protection of the "thwarted father" exception because there is no evidence indicating he attempted to contribute to the support of his child during Mother's pregnancy or after the child's birth."

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Dusten Brown and Matt and Melanie Capobianco were back in court Friday. They've been working on a custodial agreement over 4-year-old Veronica all week.

These mediation meetings are sealed and a gag order is preventing anyone involved from telling us exactly what is discussed.

Sources tell us the two sides are close to an agreement, which would be the end of a four-year fight

The Capobiancos arrived at the state court of civil appeals around 10 a.m. Friday. They met behind closed doors with Dusten Brown to work out the custodial arrangements for little Veronica.

Supporters of Dusten Brown made themselves known Friday, saying Veronica should be with her biological father.

"I have an almost 4-year-old daughter, and I can't imagine how she would feel if this were happening to her," said Brown supporter, Erin Kutchfar.

This fight has been non-stop since a few months after Veronica was born in 2010.

Special Coverage: 'Baby Veronica' Case

We've obtained court transcripts from a September 2011 hearing in South Carolina that granted custody to Dusten Brown. The judge said the Capobiancos love the child and would be good parents, but the judge also declared Dusten Brown a "thwarted father."

She said Brown attempted to take care of Veronica's birth mother while she was pregnant by asking her to move into his base housing and even offering her military benefits, but the judge said the birth mother wanted no contact whatsoever with Brown.

The judge also said the birth mother never told Brown about the birth and that her attorney gave the Cherokee tribe a wrong spelling of his name, even though the birth mother knew the correct spelling.

9/16/2013 Related Story: 'Baby Veronica' Custody Battle Moves To Tulsa Courtroom

Supporters of Dusten Brown say this transcript is proof that Brown should have sole custody of his daughter and this ordeal should have never happened.

"It's crazy. I mean, I think it's uncalled for really. I don't understand. I mean, there's a daughter who wants to be with her father and a father who wants to be with his daughter," Kutchfar said.

The transcript also shows that Veronica's birth mother met Melanie Capobianco three months before the birth, and that the Capobiancos paid some of the birth mother's rent, car payments, and utilities.