Charleston sheriff sends deputies, SLED to Oklahoma
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Sheriff Al Cannon sent a pair of deputies to Oklahoma on Thursday to assist with pending court hearings in the Veronica case, department officials confirmed.
Local media reports say a State Law Enforcement Division officer joined the deputies, but SLED spokesman Thom Berry said there is no information that an agent is heading to Oklahoma.
Authorities in Tulsa and U.S. Marshals said they have no evidence that Charleston County deputies are heading to the Midwest. Officials there added that they do not know what deputies would do when they arrived.
Cannon has said in the past that he does not have the jurisdiction to police the events in Oklahoma, even if his office had an arrest warrant for a citizen of that state, which it did briefly for Dusten Brown, 3-year-old Veronica's father.
However, Brown surrendered to deputies in a neighboring county who then released him on bond.
Recently, veronica's adoptive family, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, met with the girl, but court filings seem to make subsequent meetings unlikely. Both families are in Oklahoma under order to attend mediation.
Neither side is discussing the efforts of mediation because of a gag order.
Brown gained custody of Veronica after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that he had a prevailing right to claim custody based on the 1968 Indian Child Welfare Act. She was removed from the Capobiancos' home on the last day of 2011.
Since then, she has been living in Oklahoma and the Capobiancos, along with Christinna Maldonado -- Veronica's birth mother who hand-picked the James Island couple to adopt her daughter -- and a host of attorneys, have been fighting to regain custody.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that Brown's ICWA-based argument, as well as the South Carolina court's ruling, was in error and ordered the lower court to re-examine the case without consideration of the 1968 law.
That's when the South Carolina Supreme Court decided that the Capobiancos should be the adoptive couple and urged the Charleston family court to finalize Veronica's adoption.