Duane Chapman Once Got Temporary Custody of His Grandson Who Wanted to Go ‘Home’

It was difficult when Duane Chapman lost his daughter on the eve of his wedding to Beth Chapman. Additionally, when a video of his grandson getting abused by his father surfaced, he immediately filed for temporary custody.

Duane Chapman, the Bounty Hunter, is not one to shy away from finding love. When his second marriage to Ann Tegnell ended, he soon found love in Lyssa Rae Brittain, and in 1982, the two tied the knot.

Even though the marriage ended nine years later, it was one of Chapman’s longest. The two had three children together, Barbara Katie Chapman, Tucker Dee Chapman, and Lyssa Rae Chapman.

Television personality Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman attends the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Source: Getty Images


After his divorce from his third wife in 1992, Chapman then married his fourth wife, Tawny Marie, in 1992. But that too would end, pushing him to marry his long-time lover Alice Elizabeth “Beth” in 2006.

However, on the eve of their May 2, 2006 wedding, the family was hit by tragedy. Chapman’s daughter Katie Barbara was involved in a horrible car accident and lost her life.

According to reports on the accident, Katie Barbara had been in a stolen car with Scott Standefer II. The two are said to have been attempting to use a stolen credit card to rent a room in a resort several miles from Fairbanks.

Duane Chapman visits the SiriusXM Studios in New York City on April 24, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images

Amid the grief, Chapman and his bride went ahead with the wedding after he’d gathered his children together to discuss whether they should still wed following the tragedy. 

They all agreed it would be best to treat the wedding as a celebration of Katie Barbara’s life. And so, they continued the wedding as planned amid their grief.

Duane Chapman and his late wife Beth Chapman attend the Vettys Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

Following the untimely death of his mother, little Travis was left in the custody of his father, Travis Drake-Lee Mimms. All seemed to be going well until tapes of him disciplining his son surfaced. 

Chapman says he was in Los Angeles at Gene Simmons’s wedding when someone emailed him the tapes of Mimms striking nine-year-old Travis several times.

Chapman, known to never back down from a fight, says he got so angry that he contemplated going back to Hawaii and doing something bad to Mimms. Fortunately, he was trained enough to know that harming him was not the right thing to do.

TV personality Duane Chapman aka Dog the Bounty Hunter visits “FOX & Friends” at FOX Studios on August 28, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

Things only seemed to escalate from there, and Chapman says school officials also revealed that they were concerned about Travis’ well-being. The school had disclosed that Travis was telling his friends that he was being punished at home.

However, since the teachers reported this to the same person being accused of disciplining his son so cruelly, Mimms went home and disciplined him some more.

In the chilling tape that Mimms’ neighbors recorded, viewers could hear the father of one booming over the young boy asking him to bend over, then seconds later, loud smacks followed. Viewers could also hear the boy begging his dad to stop.

Following the surfacing of the disturbing tapes, Chapman began seeking custody of his grandson. Additionally, he advised Mimms to seek help for his anger issues. 

Despite the tapes being transparent, the defense attorney claimed that Mimms did not hit his son as many times as Chapman claimed he did.

He also claimed that the tapes’ authenticity was questionable. The attorney claimed that the sounds heard on the tape of Mimms disciplining Travis might have been modified to paint the father in a bad light.

The attorney, however, also admitted that Mimms might have disciplined his son when he lied to his teacher, got in trouble at school, and hid notes that he was supposed to take home. 


After reviewing the tapes, the judge presiding over the case was not having any of it. Consequently, the judge placed the nine-year-old into Chapman’s temporary custody

However, the young boy showed signs of missing his dad in another released controversial tape that heard him calling Mimms. He said he did not like it at the Chapman house, adding

“I love you, dad. I want to go home. I don’t like it here.”

When asked whether those living with him at the Chapman house were hurting him, he said they weren’t. However, he revealed they were giving him candy and taking him karting, which he did not seem interested in. 

He claimed he’s never hurt his child or even left a mark on him but said he would hurt his upstairs neighbors. 

Seeing Chapman fight for his grandchild’s welfare warmed many hearts, prompting the question of what kind of grandfather he is to his other grandchildren. 

Due to the complex nature of his family — he is currently on his sixth marriage — and because most of them have managed to stay out of the limelight, it is quite the task to tell who his grandchildren are

Chapman is a grandfather of seven. His first grandchild, Dylan Chapman, is the son of Duane Lee Chapman II, from his first marriage to La Fonda Sue Darnell. 

Also, from his marriage to La Fonda, Chapman had a second son, Leland Blane, born in 1974. Blane has three kids, Dakota and Cobie, both in their 20s, and one daughter, Leiah Breanna, a teenager.

Lyssa Rae is the third child from Chapman and Lyssa Rae Brittain’s marriage, and she has given her parents two grandkids, Abbie Mae and Madalynn.

The bounty hunter’s seventh and youngest grandchild is Travis, born to Katie Barbara, Chapman, and Lyssa Rae’s daughter.

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