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A.G.: Murder charge imminent in Beresford case

May 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Quintana Roo attorney general announced a murder charge is forthcoming in the Monica Beresford-Redman murder case. Authorities in Cancun, Mexico have called Bruce Beresford-Redman a person of interest since the beginning of the investigation.

Bruce was told by Mexican authorities not to leave the country, but his attorney claimed he was under no legal restraint to stay in Mexico, so he left.

Monica's body was found on April 8 outside the Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun where the couple was vacationing. She had been beaten and strangled.

Bruce's two children know that their mother is dead, but they do not know that their father is the sole person of interest in her murder investigation. The protection and emotional well-being of 5-year-old Camilla and 3-year-old Alec sparked squabbles in court Friday.

The family of Monica Beresford-Redman is trying to gain custody of the children. They believe Bruce is responsible for Monica's death and say they're worried about the children's safety.

Bruce was seen with his two children for the first time on Thursday outside a home in Rancho Palos Verdes.

The question thrown out in court was, "Should the children go to Sunday's memorial service for their mother?" Monica's sisters described a celebration that the children need to witness.

"For closure and to understand that it is OK to grieve, but it is also OK to be happy for the person that their mother was and also to see how many people loved her," said Monica's sister, Jeane Burgos.

Yet, L.A. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff referred to a confidential report from the children's therapist. He said seven issues from that report raised questions in his mind. In the end, he ruled that the children are not ready for such an observance.

Arguments come as Bruce's parents sought to relinquish guardianship of the children, assuming that their son Bruce would automatically get the kids. The judge ruled that if the grandparents resign guardianship, Bruce does not automatically get the children. Facing this ruling, the grandparents decided to let things stand to continue guardianship at this time.

"The situation with the father may be in flux. I have no idea what is going on in Mexico," Beckloff said in court.

ABC News learned that Bruce bought two life insurance policies for each member of his family, just days before their trip.

One policy from HTH Worldwide Insurance would pay $50,000 in case of accidental death while traveling. The second policy from InsureMyTrip.com would pay a considerably higher amount of $500,000.

Legal experts say it could certainly work against him if the case ever goes to trial.

"It's obviously going to poison any kind of public perception of him, which is a real problem," said trial attorney Mark Geragos. "If charges are filed, it certainly doesn't help his case."

In court Friday, Beckloff ruled that there will be a hearing on custody at a later date when Monica's sisters will have a chance to present their case.

Outside court, Bruce was defended by his attorney Richard Hirsch.

"We feel this case should not be a rush to judgment," said Hirsch. The attorney also listed other crimes that took place at the Moon Palace in Cancun, including a rape that happened just days after Monica was murdered.

"We hope that the attorney general is not just trying to clear this case off his desk or in any way trying to protect the tourist industry of Cancun," Hirsch said.

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