Fernie Free Press

Barnett won't fight extradition back to Canada

Alvin Barnet was taken from the Elk Valley, and may be with his 39-year-old father Robert Barnet. - Submitted
Alvin Barnet was taken from the Elk Valley, and may be with his 39-year-old father Robert Barnet.
— image credit: Submitted

By David Murray

Great Falls Tribune staff writer

 

The Fernie man accused of abducting his son and fleeing into the U.S. with him is no longer fighting extradition back to Canada.

In a surprise move Tuesday, Robert Barnett, arrested earlier this month for abducting his son Alvin and then crossing into Montana with the child has ended his fight to avoid extradition.

Barnett, who is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, was the subject of a regional manhunt Nov. 15 after disappearing with his 3-year-old son, Alvin, from the hotel where he lived and worked in Fernie. On Nov. 16, Montana authorities issued an Amber Alert for Robert and Alvin Barnett after the two were spotted crossing into the U.S. at the Port of Roosville, north of Eureka, Mont.

He was arrested in Whitefish the next morning. Alvin was found unharmed and has been returned to Canada.

Following his arrest, Barnett initially refused to be voluntarily extradited back to Canada, where he is charged with abduction and theft of more than $5,000. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong in Great Falls on Tuesday morning for a hearing originally scheduled to review Barnett’s request for bail. However, midway through that proceeding Barnett’s attorney announced his client had reconsidered his opposition to extradition.

“This is, at its heart, a child custody issue,” federal public defender Hank Branom told Strong prior to Barnett’s decision. “He believes he has a legitimate claim to legal custody of his child, that’s why he brought him here to the United States.”

“It seems to me this is an issue that’s going to have to be resolved in Canada,” Strong replied. “We can’t resolve it here in the U.S.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Whittaker said it would likely take 30 days before an order is issued to return Barnett to Canada.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

VIDEO: Witnesses describe scene at Parliament Hill; Raw footage of Ottawa shootings
 
Soldier killed in Parliament Hill siege
 
Scotland comes to Sparwood
Hungry Baytaluke Q & A
 
Penticton rolls out the red carpet for WestJet
 
Col. Chris Hadfield to speak in Kelowna
VJH Foundation commits to raise $2.5 million for equipment
 
ELECTION 2014: Osoyoos mayor admits sign incident factored into decision to retire
 
Bobbitt hearing back on hold

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.