Actor Randy Quaid says he and his wife feel “vindicated” after a Vermont judge dismissed fugitive-from-justice charges against the couple Thursday and released them from police custody.
“It’s a very big relief to have been vindicated to a great extent,” Quaid told ABC News in an exclusive interview from Vermont.
Quaid and his wife, Evi, were taken into custody and detained last Friday after trying to cross the border from Canada into the United States, according to Vermont state police. The "Independence Day" star, 65, is wanted in Santa Barbara, California, for felony vandalism charges stemming from a 2010 incident, according to The Associated Press.
The two allegedly caused more than $5,000 in damage to a home where they were squatting at the time.
Quaid said the issue boils down to “just a property dispute,” while his wife claims that the house in question belongs to them.
“We own our house,” she told ABC News.
The couple’s release from jail was a surprising turn of events.
At first, Judge Alison Arms ruled Thursday there was insufficient probable cause to extradite the Quaids to California, where they are facing the felony charges for vandalism. Instead, after a one-hour hearing, she set bond for the couple at $50,000 each and ordered them to remain in Vermont.
But shortly after making her ruling, Arms called everyone back into court and ordered the couple to be freed without bail because of a lack of probable cause.
When asked what it meant to hear Judge Arms make the ruling, Evi Quaid described it as “profound.”
“Profound and real and we’re finally here,” she said.
Her husband added, “It was like someone understands our situation.”
Quaid said he even remembered what the officer said to him when he removed Quaid’s handcuffs.
“He said, ‘I want my jewelry back,’” Quaid recalled. “You know the weight of it because you feel like a criminal.”
Though the Quaids were freed from jail, they may still face legal troubles.
The Santa Barbara DA said it is pursuing a governor's warrant, which allows extradition. If the Quaids leave Vermont, the DA's office said it expects they will be taken into custody on the original arrest warrant.
ABC News’ Luchina Fisher contributed to this report.