Duane Chapman Biography
Duane Lee "Dog" Chapman (born February 2, 1953 in Denver, Colorado) is an American bounty hunter and bail bondsman who lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. He stars in Dog the Bounty Hunter, a weekly reality television program which is broadcast on the A&E Network (USA), Bravo, Virgin 1 (both UK) and FOX8/Nine Network (Australia) .
Chapman, a former gang member with 18 prior convictions for armed robbery, was sentenced in Pampa Texas to five year prison term in 1977 after being convicted of the first degree murder of Jeremy Oliver. Chapman maintains his innocence of murder but suggests he was a legal accessory for not reporting the shooting to the police. He was released on probation after 1 and a half years.
Dog's career in bounty hunting began when he was in court disputing child support. When he told the judge he did not have the money to pay, the judge offered him a deal to bring in a fugitive in exchange for the judge to pay part of Chapman's child support.
He started his first bondsman business in his hometown of Denver, Colorado before moving to Hawaii with his five children, Leland, Duane Lee, Tucker, Baby Lyssa and Barbara Kate. After his mother's passing, he moved back to Colorado for a long stay to work alongside his sister, Jolene Chapman, who also started her own bail bond business on 'Bail Bond's Row'. His longtime partner Alice Barmore (now Beth Chapman) soon joined with him on his bounties and business and both moved back to Hawaii to open up another office in downtown Honolulu. This business has been extended to the Big Island, Hawaii and Maui, Hawaii.
Chapman operates his business as a family-style enterprise which includes long-time business partner, Tim Chapman; his other long-term business partner, Beth Chapman; his sons including Leland and Duane Lee; his daughter, Lyssa; and various other family members and friends.
Other bail agents have publicly expressed disapproval of Chapman's approach to bounty hunting. Penny Harding, the executive director of the California Bail Agents Association, said "He represents all of the things that bail agents are trying to get away from - the cowboy image, the renegade, bring 'em home dead or alive."
On June 18, 2003, Chapman made news with his hunt and capture of Max Factor cosmetics heir Andrew Luster, who at the time was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Luster had fled the United States in the middle of his trial for drugging and raping a number of women, and was convicted in absentia on 86 counts including multiple rape charges connected to assaults in 1996, 1997 and 2000. Chapman was assisted by his "hunt team", consisting of his son Leland and his associate, Tim Chapman.
On September 14, 2006, days prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, Chapman, along with his son Leland Chapman and associate Tim Chapman, were arrested by United States Marshals and jailed in Honolulu on behalf of the Mexican government. All three were charged with deprivation of liberty involving the 2003 apprehension of Andrew Luster. After spending one night in the federal detention center, Chapman told reporters: "The federal marshals treated us with great respect. But let me tell you, you never want to go to a federal prison, because it's terrible."
The next day, September 15, 2006, Chapman appeared in a packed Honolulu courtroom with his ankles shackled. Although the judge agreed that the men were not a flight risk, he ordered that each wear an electronic monitoring device around the ankle. The three men were released on bail ($300,000 for Duane Chapman, $100,000 each for Leland Chapman and Tim Chapman). They were also ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for house arrest.
Beth Chapman was detained and had a hearing after she was caught wearing an A&E body microphone when entering the courthouse for their bond hearing; electronic recording devices are prohibited by law from being carried into federal courthouses. She was released after explaining that she "didn't know they had the mic and transmitter"; the judge (after speaking to the A&E crew) was satisfied that no recording was done.
Chapman was fighting extradition in September 2006. His lead attorney Brook Hart reportedly planned to argue that although the charge Chapman faced is a misdemeanor in Mexico, when translated into English it became a felony (kidnapping) under American law. An extradition hearing was set for November 16, 2006, where both sides were to present evidence and witnesses. Chapman has speculated that his arrest was due in part to a possible prisoner exchange agreement between the Mexican and American authorities. According to Chapman, the federal agents 'sold him out', by trading him in for a convicted Mexican drug lord. Duane, Leland, and Tim had their ankle bracelets removed so they could work.
On October 11, 2006, reports surfaced of an open letter dated September 26, 2006, sent on Chapman's behalf by 29 Republican Congressmen to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The letter stated the authors' opposition to Chapman's extradition and requested that Rice deny Mexico's request for same. Subsequently on October 20, 2006, lawyers for Chapman said that the Mexican federal court had granted them an order that halted the criminal case against the bounty hunter until further evidence and witness testimony were gathered.
A court hearing was held on December 22, 2006. The original hearing was postponed because a report from a lower court was not yet received. The court heard both sides of the story, and then decided to recess. Then court proceedings started on January 16, 2007 and the court had up to Tuesday, February 6, 2007 but the deadline was extended.
On February 16, 2007, a Mexican Federal court cleared the way for Duane Chapman to be extradited, ruling there was no reason not to try him with the charge of deprivation of liberty in Mexico. In response, on February 23, Hawaii State Representatives Gene Ward, Karen Awana, Rida Cabanilla, Lynn Finnegan, Barbara Marumoto, Colleen Meyer, Kymberly Pine, Joe Bertram, Ken Ito, Marylin Lee, and John Mizuno introduced HCR50, "Requesting the President of Mexico and the Second District Court of Guadalajara to drop extradition charges against TV Bounty Hunter, Duane 'Dog' Chapman".
Chapman, along with his lawyer, William C. Bollard, has appeared on numerous media shows. Some of these include: Larry King Live, Greta Van Susteren, Mark and Mercedez Morning Show on Mix 94.1 KMXB in Las Vegas, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet on WFLD, Fox 6 News San Diego, The Glenn Beck Program, and THE 9 on Yahoo!.
On March 7, 2007, legislators in the International Affairs Committee of the Hawaii State House passed a resolution that asks the Mexican government to drop the extradition proceedings against Duane, Leland and Tim Chapman.
Honolulu news outlet KHNL reported on August 1, 2007 that the arrest warrant issued for Chapman and his associates may now be invalidated, as a Mexican court has found that the statute of limitations regarding the arrest has expired. The 15-page legal order was released in Spanish and is currently in the process of being translated and verified for legal acuity. The case against the bounty hunters may still be open to legal recourse by Mexican prosecutors.
On August 2, 2007, the First Criminal Court in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico dismissed all criminal charges pending against Dog, Tim and Leland Chapman on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. The order effectively cancelled all pending charges. The ruling, however, was appealed by the prosecution in order to overturn the lower court's decision. A&E was told that in Mexico, rulings against the prosecution are generally appealed as a matter of principle.
On November 5, 2007, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren dismissed the extradition attempt, saying that even though the cases were appealed, the trio are no longer charged with any offenses.
Duane "Dog" Chapman: I don't care if she's a Mexican, a whore or whatever. It's not because she's black, it's because we use the word nigger sometimes here. I'm not gonna take a chance ever in life of losing everything I've worked for 30 years because some fucking nigger heard us say nigger and turned us in to the Enquirer magazine. Our career is over! I'm not taking that chance at all! Never in life! Never! Never! If Lyssa [Dog's daughter] was dating a nigger, we would all say 'fuck you!' And you know that. If Lyssa brought a black guy home, ya da da... it's not that they're black, it's none of that. It's that we use the word nigger. We don't mean you fucking scum nigger without a soul. We don't mean that shit. But America would think we mean that. And we're not taking a chance on losing everything we got over a racial slur because our son goes with a girl like that. I can't do that, Tucker. You can't expect Gary, Bonnie, Cecily, all them young kids to [garbled] because 'I'm in love for 7 months' - fuck that! So, I'll help you get another job but you cannot work here unless you break up with her and she's out of your life. I can't handle that shit. I got 'em in the parking lot trying to record us. I got that girl saying she's gonna wear a recorder...
Tucker Chapman: I don't even know what to say.
Duane immediately went to his pastor Tim Storey for spiritual advice.
In March 2007, during this taped conversation with his son Tucker, Chapman used strong language, including the word "nigger," when referring to Monique Shinnery, his son's African-American girlfriend. The audiotape, which Tucker sold to the National Enquirer, prompted a coalition of civil rights leaders to call for Chapman's popular Dog the Bounty Hunter show on A&E to be canceled. After the tape was made public, A&E announced it was suspending production for the series pending an investigation. Conservative civil rights leader Roy Innis said that Chapman "should not have a show."
On November 1, 2007, Chapman issued a public statement apologizing for his "regrettable use of very inappropriate language." Chapman also claimed that the statements were taken out of context and that he was "disappointed in his [son's] choice of a friend, not due to her race, but her character." His lawyer stated Chapman's son sold the recording of his father's conversation to the National Enquirer for "a lot of money."
On November 2, 2007, A&E announced it is removing the show from their schedule "for the foreseeable future." On the same day Yum Brands announced pulling ad support for the TV series.
On December 21, 2007, Roy Innis, the chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, one of the first to call the A&E network to have the show taken off the air, met with Alecia Colon of The New York Sun and Chapman. Innis stated for the daily newspaper, "After meeting with him and his wife, Beth, and hearing his side of the story, we realized that the controversy had unjustly spiraled out of control without context."
He went on to say, "Duane has taken ownership of the damage of his words and has taken on the responsibility of being a racial healer for our countryÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ I have been with this man several times and had extensive dialogues with him. (Innis' son) and I consider him and his wife good friends. Duane is a changed man and has a higher purpose. Popular television is a wasteland of meaningless titillation and degradation. The Dog's potential to take his celebrity and turn it into something redeeming for our culture and society is immense. It is for these reasons that we want his television show back on the air."
Innis' December 2007 statement and a petition with over 40,000 signatures requested the return of Chapman's program. On February 19, 2008, A&E announced that the show would return. Reruns of Dog The Bounty Hunter, along with never before seen episodes from season 4, began airing on June 25, 2008. New episodes (the show's fifth season) began airing on July 16, 2008.
Debbie White was not married to Duane. She gave birth to their son Christopher Michael Hecht in 1969.
La Fonda Sue Honeycutt
Chapman married La Fonda Sue Honeycutt on April 1, 1972, in Texas; they divorced in 1977 while he was in prison. They have two children together, Duane Lee Chapman and Leland Chapman.
Anne M. Tegnell
Chapman married Anne M. Tegnell on August 22, 1979, in Colorado. This marriage also ended in divorce. They have three children; Zebediah Duane Chapman, Wesley Chapman, and J.R. Chapman.
Lyssa Rae Brittian
Chapman married Lyssa Rae Brittain on June 22, 1982. They were divorced on November 20, 1991. They have three children; Barbara-Katie Chapman, Tucker Dee Chapman, and Lyssa Chapman.
Chapman and Tawny Marie were married, but "officially separated in 1994."
Chapman married his fifth wife Beth Smith-Chapman on May 20th, 2006, at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii. They have two children together; Bonnie Jo Chapman and Garry Chapman. Beth has two children from previous relationships, Dominic and Cecily Barmore.
Duane Chapman's biological children:
Christopher Michael Hecht
His eldest son, Christopher Michael Hecht, was born in 1969.
Duane Lee Chapman, II
Duane Lee was born January 21, 1973 and was a financial and retirement counselor before going back to his first job, bounty hunting. He lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, until moving to OÃ¢â‚¬Ëœahu, Hawaii to work with his father and brother.
Leland was born December 14, 1976. He also works with his father and trains in mixed martial arts. He has two sons: Dakota, born March 24, 1995, and Cobie, born December 7, 2000. He is divorced from their mother, Maui.
Zebediah Duane Chapman
Zebediah Duane Chapman was born prematurely on January 1, 1980 in University, Colorado. He died just a month later on January 31, 1980 at his home.
His next son, Wesley Chapman, was born November 14, 1980. Wesley was recently reunited with his father, recently spotted with his dad and siblings at the Moosheart concert.
Their third son, J.R., was born March 2, 1982. Duane recalls in his book speaking to J.R. on the phone and J.R. saying, "I was born with a mental condition", and Duane replied, "So was I, son." Duane says he would like to meet J.R. someday. Their maternal grandmother raised both Wesley and J.R.
Barbara Katie Chapman
Born on June 8, 1982 in Denver, Colorado. Died in Fairbanks, Alaska on May 19, 2006 at 23 years of age, during a high-speed car accident the day of Duane's wedding to Beth Smith. She left behind one son, Travis. Travis was reunited with his own father during 2006/2007.
Tucker Dee Chapman
Tucker Dee Chapman, born September 8, 1984, was serving a 20-year prison term on a drug charge in 2002 and was released spring 2006. He no longer works with in the family business. It has been reported that he is now back in jail for violating his parole.
"Baby" Lyssa Chapman
"Baby" Lyssa Chapman, born June 10, 1987. For the past few years she has been training to become one of the youngest bail bonds women, beating Alice Barmore's achievements. She is currently working in the Honolulu office with her father and is featured regularly in the hit television show with Duane, and her two elder brothers, Duane Lee and Leland. She has one daughter, Abbie Mae Chapman, born 2004. and is engaged to her boyfriend Bo.
Bonnie Jo and Garry Chapman
Bonnie and Garry are Beth and Duane's children.
Duane's stepdaughter. She lives with Beth and her stepfather.