'Survivor' Producer Ordered Back to Mexico to Stand Trial

Bruce Beresford-Redman to be extradited to Mexico for wife's murder.

July 13, 2011— -- Former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman has been ordered back to Mexico to face a charge that he killed his wife while on a family vacation 15 months ago.

But, according to The Associated Press, it could be at least a year before Beresford-Redman is sent to Mexico if he pursues all his U.S. appeals.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian issued her ruling after an extradition hearing in Los Angeles Tuesday.

The reality TV producer has been jailed since November on a fugitive warrant issued after Mexican authorities in Cancun charged him with the aggravated homicide of his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman.

He could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Beresford-Redman's attorneys have said he is innocent and challenged the case against him, calling it a rush to judgment.

"There were two other homicides in that same hotel, so we think police should have looked for other suspects before they arrested our client," Richard Hirsh said last November.

At Tuesday's hearing, defense lawyers withdrew a request to call Beresford-Redman's 6-year-old daughter as a witness amid unspecified concerns about the girl's ability to testify in defense of her father.

Local television affiliate KABC reported that Beresford-Redman appeared in court in a jail jumpsuit and was shackled throughout the hearing. He did not react during the hearing, the station reported.

Judge Chooljian ordered the extradition after finding that there was probable cause the producer killed his wife and that he should be sent to Cancun to stand trial.

Monica Beresford-Redman's naked body was found last April in a hotel sewer at a posh Cancun resort. Hotel guests later reported hearing screams and loud bangs coming from the couple's hotel room.

Mexican officials cited "asphyxiation by suffocation" as the cause of her death.

Tuesday's decision was a big victory for Monica's family. Her sisters Jeane and Carla Burgos have made repeated trips to Mexico since their sister's death, putting pressure on authorities to charge her husband.

Last November, the Mexican authorities filed murder charges Beresford-Redman and the family braced itself for a long, nasty extradition fight.

"I feel it's a great beginning," Jeane Burgos, told "Good Morning America" at the time. "It's a moment we waited for a long time. It's finally paying off for all the hard work we have done."

Court filings in the Mexican murder charge contained evidence that Alison Triessl, a lawyer for Monica Beresford-Redman's family, called "damning" and "gruesome."

In addition to the screams for help that guests say came from the couple's room, hotel records show that an electronic key was used nine times between midnight and 7 a.m. when Monica Beresford-Redman was reported missing.

Investigators also said that the room the couple stayed in had a view of the sewage tank where her body was found. According to the complaint, a forensic expert found traces of blood on sheets left in the room, as well as on a pillar and balcony railing.

Prosecutors also said the family's nanny said she'd overheard the couple fighting the night before they left for the Mexico vacation, and that she overheard the husband say they needed to buy a life insurance policy for his wife and himself.

Shortly before Mexican authorities charged her husband with murder, ABC News confirmed he took out two life insurance policies on his wife a week before her body was found.

Sources told ABC News that one of those life insurance policies would pay out $50,000 in case of accidental death while traveling. The other would pay $500,000.

"It was gruesome, and it was really chilling to hear the details and to read it on paper," Triessl, the family lawyer, told GMA last year. "It was really awful for all of us."

Burgos, the dead woman's sister, said that while they knew some of the details that Mexican authorities included in the filing, "it really destroys us."

"It really puts us in a stressful and difficult position," she said.

Triessl said last November she expected the extradition battle to be "a long haul."

"I'm sure he'll fight at every turn," she said. "We're willing to continue to fight this until the very end to get justice for Monica."

Her family has also fought for custody of the couple's two young children, but a court settlement between the sisters and their brother-in-law's family decided before the Mexican murder charge was filed that the children should remain with Bruce Beresford-Redman's parents.

"We're very worried about them," Carla Burgos said.

The sisters get scheduled visitation with the children, which they cherish.

"It's very difficult. It's very difficult for them, it's very difficult for us," Jeane Burgos said. "At the time we are together, we try to make a happy and fun time for them."