Re: Perry March's Wife Says Children Are Living With Relative In United States



http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050809/NEWS03/508090353
March kids to live with uncle in Chicago
Wife seeks Mexican inquiry into husband's arrest, detention for
Tennessee trial
By AILENE TORRES and SHEILA BURKE
The Tennessean

AJIJIC, Mexico - The children of former Nashville attorney Perry
March returned to the U.S. yesterday and will live with an uncle in the
Chicago area while their father faces charges of killing their mother
and disposing of her body nine years ago, according to court records
and a lawyer who is close to the family.

Samson, 14, and Tzipora, 11, were secreted back to the U.S. sometime
yesterday, even as Perry March's father, Arthur, insisted the children
were still in Mexico and would not be moved until today, Nashville
lawyer John Herbison said.

Perry March, arrested last week in the 1996 disappearance of his first
wife, Janet, has lived with his children in the town of Ajijic, Mexico,
about 40 minutes outside of Guadalajara, since 1999. He has since
remarried a Mexican citizen.

Herbison, who represented Perry March in a previous child-custody
battle against Janet March's parents, had not been formally retained
but expected that would occur soon.

The children are "in the United States," Herbison said yesterday.

He refused to be more specific about the children's whereabouts in the
U.S., but court documents showed that Perry March's brother, Ron March,
filed a petition yesterday in Cook County, Ill., seeking guardianship
of them.

Ron March is an attorney in Chicago, which is in Cook County.

Filing the petition gives the Marches certain rights, such as enrolling
the children in school and making temporary medical decisions on their
behalf, Herbison said. The petition will be heard on Sept. 21.

Meanwhile yesterday, Perry March's father, Arthur March, while standing
outside Donas, his favorite breakfast spot in this little Mexican town,
said the children would not be returning to the U.S. until today.

"Right now, they are here in Ajijic," he said. He maintained that the
children were safe and being protected by "friends of mine in the
Mexican Army" until it was time for them to travel.

Bringing the children back to the U.S. could be a pre-emptive strike by
the March family. Last week Lawrence and Carolyn Levine, parents of
Janet March, went to federal court and asked a judge to stop
designating the children as "habitual residents of Mexico," a move that
would free the Levines to wage a custody battle in the U.S.

The Levines declined a request for an interview yesterday.

Herbison said the March family was deliberately secretive about the
children's whereabouts, citing a June 2000 incident when the Levines
used a visitation order from an Illinois court to take the children
from Mexico to Nashville.

A federal court ordered the children returned to their father a year
later and designated the children residents of Mexico, meaning the
Levines would have to take up their custody battle in a Mexican court.

In light of that experience, "there's concern for their well-being,"
Herbison said.

Yesterday's legal maneuvering began shortly before noon, when Perry
March's current wife, Carmen Rojas Solorio walked into the Ministerio
Publico, the Mexican equivalent of a district attorney's office, and
finished filing a declaration seeking an investigation into Perry
March's arrest.

Solorio and Arthur March said they did not believe reports from Mexican
immigration officials that Perry March was deported.

Metro police officials have said March is being held in Southern
California and will be brought to Nashville to face charges in the next
week.

"Perry was never deported," Arthur March said. "He was expelled
illegally by the FBI."

As described in the document, Alejandro Ochoa, the family gardener who
was present during the arrest, witnessed several men drive up and take
Perry March into custody.

"It went very peacefully: without a fight," Ochoa described.

According to the document, on Aug. 3, eight unidentified men in four
vehicles - a white Ford Bronco, a red Chevy Blazer, a wine-colored
Grand Marquis and a brown Chevy Suburban - took Perry March from
Media Luna Bistro & Café, the family's restaurant, put him into one of
the vehicles and left.

Alfonso Carbajal, the Ministerio Publico's second-in-command, said his
office would investigate the arrest to make sure it was official and
confirm that Perry March is in the United States.

"After that, they will bring the kids as fast as possible," Carbajal
said of Samson and Tzipora's travel to the U.S.

During the meeting, Solorio told German Lopez, an official at the
Ministerio Publico who handled the declaration, that she takes care of
Samson and Tzipora and has done so for six years, but has no official
custody.

Carbajal said his office did receive a document from Perry March giving
Solorio permission to take care of the children.

"If the papers are OK, in two days they'll have everything" they need
for the children to travel, Lopez said.

He said that, as part of Solorio's request, they would investigate
whether Solorio and Perry March are legally married, which could affect
whether she will go with them to the U.S.

The Ministerio Publico's entire investigation should last about two
days, Carbajal said.

In the early afternoon, Solorio and her Mexican lawyer emerged from
Carbajal's office, seemingly in high spirits, but refused to make any
comments.

It wasn't clear yesterday what rights the Levines have to the children.
Some local legal experts believe that March, despite being charged with
murder, still has rights to his children and can designate his brother
or other relatives to care for them, said Nashville attorney Mary
Frances Lyle.

"Unless any" of Perry March's relatives "were proven to be unfit to
keep the children on a temporary basis at his instruction, then the
Levines would simply have no basis to challenge that," she said.

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