A state judge in Vermont dismissed fugitive charges Thursday against actor Randy Quaid and his wife, and their lawyer indicated they would return to California to face 5-year-old felony charges.
Quaid and his wife, Evi, were arrested last week while trying to cross into the United States from Canada. They had lived in Canada since 2010, when Randy Quaid was charged with vandalism and unauthorized entry in Santa Barbara, California, where he and his wife were found squatting in a guest house of a home they contended they still owned.
Santa Barbara County, California, District Attorney Joyce Dudley told The Free Press of Burlington, Vermont, that she hadn't yet reviewed the ruling.
The Quaids were initially held on $500,000 bail each when they were arrested last week. Vermont Superior Court Judge Alison Arms later reduced the bond to $50,000, and on Thursday she dismissed it completely, saying she had found no probable cause to hold the couple or to extradite them to California as fugitives.
They were immediately unshackled and released, leaving the courthouse in St. Albans in their jail jumpsuits.
"I'm glad the judge was fair and she took the time to get her decision correct," Randy Quaid said outside the courthouse with his attorney at his side. "I feel like this stage of it is very much in our favor as far as the overall case back in California goes. We've always said we were innocent."
The Quaids' attorney, Peter Langrock, said the couple plans to stay in Vermont for now because Evi Quaid's father is sick.
"We had a great judge," Langrock said, prompting Quaid to interject: "I didn't think so 15 minutes ago."
Langrock indicated that the Quaids would return to California, saying the couple would contest the felony charges, but "not as fugitives from justice."
Randy Quaid nodded his head in apparent agreement, started to speak and then stopped himself.
"I'm taking the lead on my attorney's advice in that regard" and not commenting, he said.