HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A Houston father still doesn't have his son. However, he has renewed hope that he will see him again after the boy's grandparents appeared in court this morning facing kidnapping charges.
The grandparents are charged with International Parental Kidnapping for allegedly helping their daughter keep their grandson from his Houston father. The hearing at the Federal Courthouse in Downtown Houston for the grandparents was simply to establish they have attorneys, but there is an upcoming bond hearing.
“If they were given bond, I would never see my son again,” says Chris Brann. The Houston father has been trying to get his son Nico back since 2013. That's when Brann's wife, during a divorce, took the boy to Brazil for her brother's wedding and never returned.
“Five years is a long time for my son not to have his father in his life,” Brann says.
Brann's former in-laws 67-year-old Carlos and 65-year-old Jemima Guimaraes appeared in the court hearing out of view of cameras. Their wrists were handcuffed to a chain around their waist. Both were shackled around their ankles.
Mr. Guimaraes is a wealthy international businessman.
”Oh this is incredibly difficult. We're talking about two people, grandparents, 67 years old who have been in custody now for two weeks,” says Mr. Guimaraes’ Attorney Rusty Hardin.
“My only intention and desire is to get my son back. Obviously, from my perspective, if he were brought back as soon as possible I would advocate my hardest to make all of this be in our rearview mirror,” Brann explains.
“You folks have only heard one side of this thing. These people are not guilty of kidnapping,” Hardin adds.
The couple was arrested while traveling to Miami earlier this month. Brann hopes the grandparents will be denied bond. “There's no doubt if they get bond they're gone. They're an extreme flight risk. They have unlimited resources and we will have failed my son twice,” says Brann.
”We look forward to presenting our evidence as to why they're not a flight risk,” says Mrs. Guimaraes’ Attorney Jimmy Ardoin.
The grandparents and their daughter, Marcelle, are charged with kidnapping. Nico, who's now 8 years old, is said to still be in Brazil with his mom.
That bond hearing for the boy's grandparents will happen at the federal courthouse Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.