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Evi and Randy Quaid’s Refugee Claim May Foil Return to Santa Barbara

Arrested in Vancouver, alleged squatters cite 'star-whackers' threat in request for asylum

Alleged Montecito house squatters Evi and Randy Quaid were arrested in British Columbia on Thursday and subsequently requested asylum from Canadian authorities. If the couple’s refugee claim moves forward, it’s a safe bet they won’t be back in Santa Barbara any time soon — regardless of the outstanding warrants against them.

Randy Quaid
Randy Quaid

Arrest warrants were issued Oct. 18 after the Quaids failed to appear in Santa Barbara County Superior Court to face charges related to their most recent run-in with the law. The couple was arrested in September and charged with felony residential burglary and misdemeanor trespassing. According to authorities, the Quaids were living in the guest house of a vacant property they once owned in the 1300 block of East Mountain Drive. Evi Quaid was charged with resisting arrest in the incident.

On Thursday, the Quaids were arrested in Vancouver, where the saga took another unexpected turn.

At an Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada hearing Friday, Quaid, 60, and his wife, Evi, 47, requested protection, claiming they fear for their lives in the United States. After a detention review hearing, the two actors were released after they each posted $10,000 cash bonds and agreed to weekly reporting.

Outside the hearing, the Quaids’ lawyer read a statement saying the couple was seeking asylum from “Hollywood star-whackers.”

According to CTV, the couple said eight close friends have been murdered recently, including actors David Carradine, Heath Ledger and Chris Penn. Carradine was found hanged in a hotel room in Thailand last year, Ledger died of an overdose of a mix of prescription medications in 2008, and Penn died of heart disease in 2006.

On Saturday, the Vancouver Sun quoted immigration attorney and policy analyst Richard Kurland as saying the Quaids could end up staying in Canada for a year or more as a result of a backlog of asylum cases.

According to the Sun, Kurland said it will be up to Quaid to prove his claim that he faces persecution and fears murder at the hands of mysterious forces in the United States. He said Quaid also must prove he is not being adequately protected by authorities.

Evi Quaid
Evi Quaid

If authorities decide Quaid is eligible to make an asylum claim, the immigration tribunal will decide whether he is eligible for a work permit, Kurland told the Sun.

If the tribunal rules in Quaid’s favor, he might be able to continue to seek acting roles in Canada, which is known as Hollywood North. Perhaps in a bit of irony, the Santa Barbara-based Psych detective series is filmed in British Columbia.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies arrested the Quaids on Sept. 18 at their former Montecito home. The house is less than a mile from the San Ysidro Ranch, where the Quaids allegedly used an invalid credit card to pay a $10,000 hotel bill in 2009. Earlier this year, the couple settled legal charges related to the incident.

Evi Quaid pleaded no contest to defrauding an innkeeper, was fined $10,500 in restitution, and was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service and to stay away from two Montecito hotels. The charges against her husband were dropped.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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