Despite order, Randy and Evi Quaid still in jail
Oscar-nominated actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi are still behind bars in Canada, despite being ordered released last week by immigration authorities.
Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson told CTV News the couple remains in detention, but did not provide a reason why.
The Quaids were arrested in an upscale Vancouver neighbourhood last week after skipping a California court hearing for their felony burglary charge. The couple is accused of squatting in a Montecito home they once owned together in the 1990s, and causing thousands of dollars in damage. A judge issued $50,000 bench warrants for their arrest on Oct. 18.
In a bizarre twist, Randy and Evi declared they are seeking refugee status in Canada because they claim someone is killing Hollywood stars -- and they're next on the hit list.
In Pictures: The Quaids' fall from grace
Evi told reporters that nine close friends of her husband have recently been murdered by "Hollywood star whackers," including actors David Carradine, Heath Ledger and Chris Penn. Carradine was found hanging by a rope 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 Friday, the couple was released on $10,000 cash bonds, but they still remain in detention.
The Canadian government had argued for the pair to stay in jail because they are unlikely to appear at future hearings, but the couple asked for their release for health reasons. Evi claims she has high blood pressure and is on the verge of a stroke. She also offered to wear an ankle bracelet to ensure she wouldn't flee the country.
Their dog is also being detained at the Vancouver Animal Shelter.
Will it work?
Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland told CTV News he doubts the refugee claim will pay off for the couple.
"Statistically you have a better chance of being hit by a meteor than see a profile like this from the United States succeed in a refugee claim," he said.
Kurland said there are several factors working against the Quaids, the biggest perhaps being the fact they are wanted in the U.S.
If the couple is allowed to access the refugee system, Kurland says the process will take a minimum of one to two years. During that period, they will have access to Canadian benefits, including work permits, medical care and welfare.
The Quaid's next court hearing is scheduled for Thursday, at which point they'll have to discredit the California charges and prove fear of prosecution back home – or their stay in Canada will be brief.
It can literally mean from the hearing room to the back of an immigration truck and a one-way ride to the U.S. border, where you're dropped to … American law enforcement officials on the spot," Kurland said.
Randy Quaid is known for his roles in films such as The Last Detail, Independence Day, Kingpin and Brokeback Mountain. He won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years.
He is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid.