The events occurred on November 16, 2019 when the victim, a British national, received the defendant at his home, whom he had known for years for having done plumbing, electrical repair and painting tasks at home. Between the two there was a great friendship and in recent months the defendant, a 51-year-old Dutch national, had asked her for several loans for his personal needs, money that she had always paid back later. The defendant himself admitted that that day when he saw the purse full of bills his head went. The crime was committed when the woman entered the kitchen to prepare coffee for her murderer. The jury found it proven that the defendant attacked her from behind, grabbing her tightly by the neck, throwing her against the floor of the house, where he gave her numerous blows that ended her life.
The accused was arrested months after the crime, although the Civil Guard had already suspected that the perpetrator had to be someone from the victim’s environment, since there was no evidence that access to the house had been forced. Something that pointed to it was the woman who opened the door and let him pass. An indication that led the investigators to pull the thread, focusing on the circle closest to the murdered woman to get to the accused. He came to testify as a witness in the early stages of the investigations and later as an under investigation, once he was arrested.
The jury considered an aggravation of treachery to be proven, since the victim had no possibility of defending himself and the defendant committed the crime, ensuring that there would be no risk to him. In the verdict, the popular court valued that the friendship between the two made it impossible for her to suspect that he could murder her. The resolution also underlines that the crime was committed in the kitchen, a room in the house from which the woman could hardly escape or defend herself, since there was no other exit other than the entrance to the dining room and that it was blocked by the accused.
Another circumstance that determined that the treachery was considered proven is the physical disproportion between the aggressor and the victim. A man bigger than inflicted numerous, repeated, intense and forceful blows to her face, head, neck and chest while she lay motionless on the ground. And lastly, the woman was alone in the house, with which she could hardly receive help.
For these events, another friend of the accused was arrested initially, being identified as the person who took him home that day and whose participation was ruled out. At the trial, he declared as a witness that he did not know anything about what happened. He was waiting outside in the car, until the defendant returned and both were partying. The sentence relates that the money obtained after the crime was spent in bars and discos until the wee hours of the morning. Before leaving the house, the defendant washed the remains of blood.
Although from the moment of his arrest, the defendant had acknowledged his participation in the murder in his subsequent court statements, he had given more evasive answers. The jury ruled out that any extenuating circumstance had to be applied for confession, considering that the defendant showed “a selective interested memory”, by not trying to clarify the facts and only seeking to evade the accusation of murder and to be convicted of murder. To do this, consider the ruling that the defendant “distorted reality.” On the other hand, the verdict did value that the extenuating confession was applicable to the crime of robbery with violence, since before his arrest no one was investigating the disappearance of the money and it was a fact that the security forces were unaware of.
The ruling sentenced him to 23 years in prison for the murder, as well as two years and six months for robbery with violence. The defendant must also compensate each of the two children of the victims with a total of 120,000 euros in concept of non-pecuniary damages. In any case, the ruling is not final and an appeal can be made against it before the Criminal Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of the Community.
The ruling rules out that the murderer was drunk or drugged
The defendant had argued during the trial that at the time of the crime he had consumed alcohol and drugs, an extreme that the sentence has not considered proven. As well as the existence of any mental abnormality due to substance addiction. The forensics indicated that the only information they have on drug use is that given by the defendant himself and concluded that he was lucid at the time of the crime.
The accused, to the Civil Guard: “I expected you to come”
The resolution relates that the suspect spent more than two months awaiting his arrest
The sentence for the crime of Granja de Rocamora relates that the accused admitted to the Civil Guard agents who came to arrest him that he was waiting for them to come after him one day. More than two months passed between the crime and the arrest. According to the ruling, in those first appearances he assured the agents that he was convinced that he would have left some DNA trace in the house that would end up betraying him, which is why he confessed that he had problems sleeping at night waiting for the moment to his arrest. The fence was tightening because the guards were focusing on the inner circle of the murdered woman and she did not have as many contacts in the village. In fact, the fact that he was already one of the initial suspects of the crime for the Civil Guard makes the jury value his confession as an attempt to collaborate with Justice. In any case, the defendant did authorize his DNA to be compared with that found at the crime scene by the agents who carried out the visual inspection of the house.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.