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Hearing slated for Wednesday in Veronica case - abc27 WHTM

Hearing slated for Wednesday in Veronica case

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A South Carolina family court has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday afternoon to hear pending motions by Veronica's birth father and the Cherokee Nation.

The details of the motions are unknown because the records in family court are sealed.

Dusten Brown, the 3-year-old's birth father, is currently deployed in Iowa on Army National Guard training for the next two weeks. He spoke to a Tulsa newspaper on Thursday, telling reporters that he was going to do everything to keep Veronica in his custody. 

But he added that he would obey the law.

A South Carolina judge ordered Brown and the Cherokee Nation deliver Veronica to her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, immediately. The order came after the group failed to appear at the first meeting between the Capobiancos and Veronica in 19 months.

The meeting was part of a transition plan to move Veronica out of Oklahoma and back into her James Island home.

But Brown, his family and the Cherokee Nation contest the ruling from South Carolina, saying Oklahoma's courts have to agree with the Palmetto State's decision. Brown told the Tulsa World newspaper on Thursday that he has until Aug. 23 to ask an Oklahoma judge to reject the order.

"I'm hoping that Oklahoma will stand up and defend her," he told the newspaper. "She was born in Oklahoma. She resides in Oklahoma. She's an Oklahoman."

The paper reports that Brown is also asking the Cherokee Nation to claim jurisdiction since he and his daughter are members of the tribe. U.S. Supreme Court documents show Brown to be 2 percent Cherokee and Veronica to be 1 percent.

"I'm never going to give up if I have any chance left at all," Brown told Tulsa World. "I love her too much to give up."

The words from Robin Brown, Dusten Brown's wife and Veronica's stepmother, are stronger. She told the Tulsa World on Wednesday that she thought South Carolina's court's were biased.

"We never stood a chance when it came to the bottom line," she told the newspaper. "But the battle is just beginning here in Oklahoma."

Robin Brown's interview with the newspaper also gave another glimpse into Veronica's life with the Browns. In the two-minute video, the girl is seen pulling a princess dress and play heels out of a basket of toys.

"You're not getting back the 2-year-old that you sent over and I think even now they'd have hard things to explain to her. How do you tell her, 'Your mommy's not coming. Your daddy's not coming. You can't go home.' because she will say, 'I want to go home,'" Robin Brown said.

"She'll say, 'Where's my mommy? Where's my daddy?' 20 times a day."

Brown gained custody of Veronica after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that he had a prevailing right to claim custody based on the 1968 Indian Child Welfare Act. She was removed from the Capobiancos' home on the last day of 2011.

Since then, she has been living in Oklahoma and the Capobiancos, along with Christinna Maldonado -- Veronica's birth mother who hand-picked the James Island couple to adopt her daughter -- and a host of attorneys, have been fighting to regain custody.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that Brown's ICWA-based argument, as well as the South Carolina court's ruling, was in error and ordered the lower court to re-examine the case without consideration of the 1968 law.

That's when the South Carolina Supreme Court decided that the Capobiancos should be the adoptive couple and urged the Charleston family court to finalize Veronica's adoption.

That order led to Sunday's missed meeting, the latest order to immediately return Veronica, and Wednesday's hearing in Charleston.

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