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Fallin signs extradition order for Dusten Brown - abc27 WHTM

Fallin signs extradition order for Dusten Brown

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OKLAHOMA CITY (WCIV) -- Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed an extradition order for Dusten Brown, saying he was not acting in good faith.

Brown's attorney in Charleston, Shannon Jones, said they plan to fight the extradition order.

According to a release from the governor's office, Fallin said she was committed to upholding the rule of law and to finding a solution to the ongoing custody saga between Brown and Matt and Melanie Capobianco. As a result, she said she signed the order to send Brown back to Charleston County.

The extradition order does not change the current placement of Veronica, his 3-year-old biological daughter and the focus of the custody battle.

"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. "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. I also outlined parameters for what I believe to be acting in ‘good faith:' both Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family should be able to see Veronica; both parties should continue meeting to pursue a resolution outside of court; and both parties must obey the courts and the rule of law."

Fallin went on to say that Brown was not acting in good faith, adding that he has failed to allow the Capobiancos to visit their adopted daughter.

"He is acting in open violation of both Oklahoma and South Carolina courts, which have granted custody of Veronica to the Capobianco's. Finally, he has cut off negotiations with the Capobianco's and shown no interest in pursuing any other course than yet another lengthy legal battle," Fallin said.

Last week, two Charleston County deputies and a State Law Enforcement Division officer traveled to Oklahoma to oversee court proceedings in the custody case. Officials with the sheriff's office said Wednesday afternoon that the deputies are still in Oklahoma.

It is unclear when Brown will be turned over to Charleston County deputies. For now, Brown's Sept. 12 court hearing in Sequoyah County, where he surrendered to deputies after Charleston County issued a warrant for his arrest on custodial interference charges.

That hearing may not happen if Brown is returned to the Lowcountry. The timing is also unfortunate for Brown; Veronica turns four in less than two weeks.

SPECIAL SECTION: The Baby Veronica Story

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's spokesman lauded Fallin's action.

"We appreciate the cooperation of Governor Fallin and the state of Oklahoma to help us arrive at a resolution in the best interests of baby Veronica. We will continue to work with the Capobiancos until Veronica is back home in South Carolina," said Doug Mayer, the spokesman for Haley's office.

But the Cherokee Nation cried foul, saying Fallin's act violates Brown's and Veronica's civil rights. The statement, issued by the Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr., says the tribe is "unspeakably saddened" by Fallin's signing of the extradition warrant.

"We feel that the governor has failed in her duty to protect our most vulnerable citizens, which is exactly what Veronica Brown is-- a minor child and citizen of the great state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation," Hoskin said. "Dusten has the right to due process, and the right to object to the unethical adoption that already took his daughter away once. The events of today, and the events that have unfolded over the past four years should frighten every parent, and more specifically, every single father in Oklahoma."

Hoskin claims that Fallin provided false information about Brown in her statement, but did not explain the allegation.

"This is unacceptable and Oklahomans will not forget," Hoskin said.

The two sides convened again in yet another Oklahoma courtroom Wednesday, but a gag order has kept details of the ongoing proceedings hard to come by. On Wednesday, the two sides met in a Muskogee County courtroom.

A day earlier, the two sides were in Cherokee County and Oklahoma Supreme Court courtrooms after Brown filed a writ of prohibition to stop an Oklahoma court order to immediately send Veronica back into the arms of the Capobiancos.

Brown and the Cherokee Nation have been battling South Carolina's order to hand Veronica over to the Capobiancos since the South Carolina Supreme Court directed a Charleston family court to finalize the adoption.

Brown gained custody of Veronica after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that he had a prevailing right to claim custody based on the Indian Child Welfare Act. She was removed from the Capobiancos' James Island home on Dec. 31, 2011.

Since then, she has been living in Oklahoma while her adoptive parents and birth mother fight to regain custody.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that Brown's ICWA-based argument was in error and ordered the lower court that had initially sided with him to reconsider their ruling without the consideration of the child protection law.

That's when the state Supreme Court decided that the Capobiancos should have custody of Veronica and urged family court to make final their adoption request.

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