Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed the extradition order for the biological father of 'Baby Veronica' Wednesday, citing Dusten Brown's apparent refusal to adhere to court rulings.
In a statement released just before 5 p.m., the governor said Brown "is not acting in good faith" and is in "open violation" of Oklahoma and South Carolina courts.
RELATED: Supreme Court rules on Baby Veronica, ICWA (http://bit.ly/1aKpgzF)
Brown and Matt and Melanie Capobianco, a South Carolina couple who Veronica, now nearly 4, lived with for the first two years of her life, have been in a drawn-out custody battle beginning only months after her birth, ultimately reaching the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley sent the order to the governor's office in early August.
RELATED: SC gov. signs order, Brown arrested (http://bit.ly/1d3OLx9)
"[Brown] has disobeyed an Oklahoma court order to allow the Capobianco’s to visit their adopted daughter and continues to deny visitation," Fallin said in the statement. "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 initially expressed reservations about signing the order, which asks for the Nowata father to be extradited to South Carolina to face felony custodial interference charges. Her stance quickly changed after Brown's recent actions to prevent the Capobiancos from seeing Veronica.
“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," she said Wednesday. "... Unfortunately, it has become clear that Dusten Brown is not acting in good faith ... As governor, I am committed to upholding the rule of law. As a mother, I believe it is in the best interests of Veronica to help end this controversy and find her a permanent home. For both of these reasons, I have signed the extradition order to send Mr. Brown to South Carolina.”
Brown and the Capobiancos have attended a flurry of court hearings in recent days, including one Wednesday morning in Muskogee. The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued an emergency stay Wednesday, allowing the Brown family to maintain custody until Tuesday, when the court intends to discuss the case further.
STORY: Okla. Supreme Court issues stay following appeal (http://bit.ly/175EMnE)
Mobile users can view a comprehensive timeline of the Baby Veronica custody battle here -- http://bit.ly/babyvtimeline
Fallin also made clear Wednesday her signing of the order will not affect Veronica's current placement with Brown's family.
An official with the governor's office said Wednesday Brown, who was essentially made a fugitive following the order, is expected to turn himself over to Sequoyah County authorities. If he fails to do so, Brown may soon be arrested.
Following Fallin's declaration, Brown's attorney, Clark Brewster, said the basis on which the governor signed the order is factually incorrect as he and his family have made numerous attempts to cooperate with the Capobiancos.
He also said Brown won't be turning himself in until the order makes its way to the Sequoyah County Sheriff's office, which will likely be Thursday morning. At that time, Brewster said, Brown will surrender himself into sheriff's custody if requested by deputies.
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