He Spent 4 Years on Run, Will Spend Far More in Prison

California multimillionaire Peter Chadwick pleaded guilty to second-degree murder
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2019 4:12 AM CDT
Updated Feb 11, 2022 7:40 AM CST
Cops: Millionaire Fugitive Spent 4 Years in Mexico
This undated booking photo provided by the Newport Beach, Calif., Police Department shows Peter Chadwick.   (Newport Beach Police Department via AP)

(Newser) Update: A wealthy California man who spent years on the run after killing his wife has been sentenced to 15 years to life—and he won't be getting credit for the more than two years he spent in county jail awaiting trial after Mexico sent him back to the US. Former real estate investor Peter Chadwick had been facing a first-degree murder charge in the 2012 death of Quee Choo Chadwick, mother of his three young sons, but he accepted a plea deal on a count of second-degree murder Wednesday, the OC Register reports. He skipped bail and fled to Mexico in 2015 and was captured four years later. "I wish I could take it back," the 57-year-old told the judge Wednesday. "I compounded that by running away from it." Our original story from Aug. 6, 2019, follows:

Police in Newport Beach say media attention and the "Countdown to Capture" podcast they produced helped lead to the arrest of fugitive millionaire Peter Chadwick. "The podcast about this murder generated leads for us and it was a way to generate interest and created leads and created pressure for Peter to surrender," Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis said Tuesday, per ABC. Police say Chadwick, who allegedly strangled wife Quee Choo Chadwick in 2012, was arrested by immigration authorities in Mexico on Sunday and deported to the US. It's not clear who, if anybody, will be receiving the $100,000 bounty offered for his capture. Authorities say Chadwick had been living in an expat community near Puebla.

Chadwick, a wealthy real estate developer, jumped bail in 2015 and fled the country, authorities say, though both his American and his British passports had been confiscated. Investigators say the 55-year-old left clues to make it appear that he had fled to Canada but he was probably in Mexico the entire time, the AP reports. Officials say Chadwick started off staying in high-end resorts but moved to more modest residences after hotels started asking him for a passport. CBS reports that he withdrew large sums of cash from his accounts but the money apparently ran out. Lewis, the Newport police chief, said Tuesday that Chadwick had been working odd jobs, using aliases including Paul Cook, Paul Craig, and John Franklin. (Read more fugitive stories.)

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