Doubts Cloud Survivor Producer's Murder Trial

Bruce Beresford-Redman's fate to be decided in spring
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2014 9:00 AM CST
Doubts Cloud Survivor Producer's Murder Trial
Reality television producer Bruce Beresford-Redman attends a court hearing from behind a fenced window at the prison in Cancun, Mexico, Thursday Feb. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/Israel Leal)

More than four years after his wife's murder in Mexico, Bruce Beresford-Redman awaits his fate. The Survivor producer's Mexican trial for Monica Burgos' murder has finally wrapped up after stretching on for nearly three years. Prosecutors argued Beresford-Redman killed his wife in their room at Cancun's Moon Palace resort on the morning of April 5, 2010, then hid her body in the room until evening, when he deposited it in a cistern, about 75 yards away. The judge's verdict is expected sometime next spring, and Beresford-Redman could face 30 years in prison if convicted. But as the Hollywood Reporter explains, the case is hardly cut and dried.

  • Coroner's tale: Evidence gathered from Burgos' body doesn't support the prosecution's argument. As her body showed no evidence of lividity—the bluish marks left by exposure to a hard surface, like in a hotel room—a coroner said Burgos likely died at the cistern itself. The coroner also determined Burgos died at around 11pm on April 5, not that morning.
  • Missing evidence: Police didn't complete a rape kit on Burgos and didn't test under her fingernails, though the state claimed scratches on Beresford-Redman's neck indicated a fight. The prosecution later said much of its evidence was "lost" or damaged by mold and water. It also turned out that blood samples prosecutors said were taken from the hotel room and a railing outside didn't belong to Burgos or Beresford-Redman.

  • Witnesses recant: Hotel employees who said they'd seen the couple fighting later said Beresford-Redman wasn't the man they'd seen. A worker testified that a British family had complained—in a handwritten note—of a woman's screams coming from the couple's hotel room, but no official statement was ever taken from the family.
  • Expert opinion: A forensic scientist and criminologist hired by Beresford-Redman's Mexican defense attorney said Burgos was likely killed by two people familiar with the layout of the hotel. He also found no evidence tying Beresford-Redman to the crime. An expert for the prosecution and an independent forensic expert brought in by the judge couldn't link him to it either.
Beresford-Redman is now facing more charges, because Mexican officials are upset about a recent 48 Hours special in which the producer recorded video diaries revealing, among other things, the "noisy ... smelly ... sweaty and hot and cramped" conditions of his life in prison. Click to read more on the case. (More Bruce Beresford-Redman stories.)

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