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Bounty hunter who caught Luster won't get any of forfeited $1 million

Bail money will go to cosmetic heir's victims, law enforcement

Duane Chapman, seen earlier this year.
Duane Chapman, seen earlier this year.

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• Court TV.com: Inside the capture of Luster external link

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The $1 million bail money forfeited by Max Factor heir Andrew Luster when he fled to Mexico during his trial on rape charges will not go to the bounty hunter who captured him in Mexico, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The bounty hunter, Duane "Dog" Chapman, stormed out of the courtroom while the judge read his decision.

"I cannot do vigilante justice," said Ventura County Superior Court Judge Edward Brodie. "In my view, you violated state statutes and Mexican statutes, therefore you are not entitled to any restitution."

In issuing his decision, Brodie told Chapman there was "no agreement, no authority to take anyone into custody."

As part of the decision, Brodie ruled that the $1 million should be distributed to those affected by the case, including an undisclosed amount to be paid to the three women raped by Luster.

The judge also said about $89,000 should be paid to the sheriff's office to recoup costs associated with the case and about $65,000 to the district attorney's office.

The money will not be distributed until the California Supreme Court rules in October on Luster's appeal of his conviction.

Outside court, Chapman appeared at ease with the judge's decision, saying, "I respect the ruling."

"Maybe if he made the other decision, it would have opened the door for vigilante," said the flamboyant Chapman, dressed in all black, his mirrored sunglasses hiding his eyes.

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Andrew Luster, returning to the United States from Mexico, earlier this year.

Chapman also warned at-large criminals to be on the lookout for him and other bounty hunters.

"No matter what, whether we get paid or not, we're coming to get them," he said.

Luster, 39, fled Southern California in January during his rape trial and was convicted in absentia of raping three women after drugging them and videotaping the act. He was sentenced to 124 years in prison. Luster is the great-grandson of Max Factor, a legendary Hollywood figure who built a cosmetics empire in the 1920s catering to the movie industry.

In June, Chapman, his brother and his son captured Luster, 39, at a taco stand in Puerto Vallarta. Afterward, Mexico police jailed the three for allegedly detaining Luster illegally.

Chapman had said he deserved a portion of the bail for tracking down Luster and detaining him.


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