Actor Randy and his wife Evi Quaid were released from a Vermont state prison Thursday after a judge dismissed fugitive charges against the pair, according to a report from Burlington Free Press.
Judge Alison Arms ruled there was no legal basis to keep the Quaids — fugitives in Santa Barbara County since 2010 for fleeing squatting and vandalism charges of a Montecito home they used to own — in custody in Vermont, thus allowing the couple to remain there unprosecuted.
Arms’s decision came as a surprise, because 10 minutes earlier she had reduced Randy and Evi Quaids’s bails from $500,000 each to $50,000 each and said they must stay in Vermont if they were released from custody due to outstanding charges in Santa Barbara.
Arms then released the Quaids without any requirements to post bail, the Burlington Free Press reported. And Randy Quaid told reporters that he looks forward to staying in Vermont, where he plans to join the volunteer fire department in the small town of Lincoln.
Lee Carter, Senior Deputy District Attorney for Santa Barbara County, said the county is seeking a California governor’s arrest warrant for the Quaids, requesting the governor of Vermont to extradite the couple back to Santa Barbara. Carter said it could take up to 90 days to obtain a warrant from Gov. Jerry Brown.
Before Thursday’s drama and just a few days into Evi Quaid’s stay at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington, another inmate allegedly deposited feces through her cell’s food chute.
Mike Touchette, Director of Correctional Facilities at the Vermont Department of Correction, said inmate Veronica Lewis, 31, was out for recreation period when she placed feces in Quaid’s open food chute. Touchette also said Quaid, 52, remained in her cell throughout the incident. Scott Waterman, Vermont State Police Public Information Officer, told The Santa Barbara Independent that authorities are still determining whether criminal action took place.
It was reportedly the second incident in recent weeks involving Lewis, who faces attempted murder charges after she allegedly shot her shooting instructor three times earlier this year. Last month, Lewis tried to choke a jail mental health worker.