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Luster Hunters Miss Court Date

Three bounty hunters arrested in Mexico for capturing fugitive rapist Andrew Luster failed to show up in court Monday, a judge said.

Judge Jose de Jesus Pineda said he would give the three until Tuesday to explain their absence, then begin proceedings to forfeit their bail.

Duane "Dog" Chapman, his son Leland, and his brother Timothy flew to California last week shortly after they were released from jail in Puerto Vallarta. During a news conference Wednesday in California, Chapman said he planned to return to Mexico "soon."

It was unclear where Chapman was Monday.

Pineda told The Associated Press the three could do whatever they wanted with their free time — as long as they checked in with court officials every Monday morning.

Pineda last month ordered the three tried on charges of criminal association and deprivation of liberty for their attempt to grab Luster in the streets of Puerto Vallarta. The Max Factor heir was on the run after being convicted in absentia in California of drugging and raping three women.

Prosecutors argue the bounty hunters should have gone to police instead of snagging Luster themselves.

Pineda released the bounty hunters on $1,430 bail each. Mexican immigration officials added a bail of less than $300 each.

If they do not return to Mexico, Pineda could seek a second warrant for their arrest, and it is possible Mexico will request their extradition from the United States.

Authorities briefly detained and charged a television producer and actor who went along with the bounty hunters to videotape Luster's capture, but Pineda threw out the charges against them.

Luster was deported to California the day after his arrest, and began serving a 124-year sentence.

By Lorena Moguel