SEQUOYAH COUNTY, Okla. - The biological father of a Cherokee girl caught in the middle of a cross-country adoption fight surrendered to authorities at the Sequoyah County courthouse Thursday, but didn't stay behind bars long.
Dusten Brown, father of 3-year-old 'Baby Veronica,' appeared before a judge Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after Gov. Mary Fallin signed an extradition order for the Nowata man.
MORE: Governor signs extradition order for Baby Veronica's biological father (http://bit.ly/17AhSFL)
Fallin, who at first was hesitant to sign the order requesting Brown be sent to face felony custodial interference charges in South Carolina, said she did so because of recent court violations.
RELATED: S.C. gov. signs order, Brown arrested (http://bit.ly/1d3OLx9)
"[Brown] has disobeyed an Oklahoma court order to allow the Capobiancos to visit their adopted daughter and continues to deny visitation," Fallin said in a statement Wednesday.
Shortly after being led into the courtroom, however, the Sequoyah County judge ordered Brown be released from custody immediately.
The announcement surprised many in the courtroom, including Sheriff Ron Lockhart.
Lockhart said he refused to release Brown until he contacted Fallin's office.
"I never had this happen as far as they're able to be released on a governor's warrant," Lockhart said. "Normally they stay in jail until the hearing."
Fallin's office told the sheriff to follow the judge's order and release Brown.
"You're innocent until proven guilty. I understand that," said Lockhart. "But it's frustrating to law enforcement. I'm sure it's frustrating to South Carolina officials also and I would be frustrated too if I'm trying to get somebody back here on a charge."
Fallin's spokesman, Alex Weintz, said the governor didn't expect a judge to release Brown from custody when she signed the warrant.
"It is highly unusual," he said.
Weintz said the matter is now out of the governor's hands.
"At this time, every decision that is left to be made is in the hands of the courts. Our office has no further role to play at this moment," said Weintz.
RELATED: Baby Veronica timeline (http://bit.ly/babyvtimeline)
The judge who issued the ruling, releasing Brown, said it is allowed by statute.
Brown is scheduled to appear once again in Sequoyah County court Oct. 3 to address the extradition.
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