Stillwater News Press

September 5, 2013

Father of Cherokee tot in custody fight surrenders

Associated Press
Associated Press

SALLISAW, Okla. — The father of a Cherokee girl at the center of a custody dispute has surrendered to Oklahoma authorities amid claims he’s interfering with parental rights granted to a South Carolina couple.

A secretary for Sequoyah County Judge Jeff Payton said Dusten Brown surrendered Thursday. Gov. Mary Fallin signed an extradition warrant Wednesday, saying Brown wasn’t negotiating in good faith with a Charleston, S.C., couple granted custody of the girl in July.

A South Carolina judge says Matt and Melanie Capobianco can adopt 3-year-old Veronica, who remains with Brown’s family in the Cherokee Nation. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court said Brown couldn’t use the Indian Child Welfare Act to press his custody fight.

Courts in Oklahoma, South Carolina and the Cherokee Nation have each held hearings on the girl’s future.