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Pablo Casellas Trial: Puerto Rican Condemned To Prison For Murder And Posession Of Guns

Pablo Casellas
Pablo Casellas (in the purple shirt) has been found guilty of murder. Youtube/Telemundo

Pablo Casellas Toro has been found guilty of murdering his wife, Carmen Paredes, by a jury in Puerto Rico on Wednesday. In an 11-1 vote, the jury made up of six men and six women found Casellas Toro guilty of murder in the first degree, illegal arms possession and destruction of evidence.  Judge Jose Ramirez Lluch also found him guilty of providing false witness and denied the preemptory acquittal sought by Mr. Casellas Toros' legal team.  

Pablo Casellas Toro has been sent to prison to await sentencing: "Given the seriousness of these crimes...this court oders Pablo Jsoe Casellas Toro to be imprisoned until the sentencing date, Thursday February 6th," Judge Ramirez stated, while the courtroom echoed with the cries of his family. Shortly after, guards put Casellas in handcuffs and led him out of the courtroom. Casellas defence team, led by Harry Padilla, indicated immediately that they would appeal the decision. 

According to the prosecution, Casellas Toro faked a carjacking to report the FN Five Seven gun as stolen - the same weapon he used to kill his wife of twenty years. The prosecution also claimed that Casellas murdered his wife in order to avoid a divorce which would force him to divide his property with Paredes Cintron, 45. However, Mr. Casellas' defense argued that Casellas Toro, 59, had no motivation for the crime and that her death happened due to a robber gone wrong. Casellas could face life imprisonment.

Casellas Toro could be sentenced to 118 years in prison, as just for the murder of his wife the law states a sentence of 99 years. However, his lawyers are already looking for an appeal. 

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Oscar Lopez is a Brooklyn-based writer. Originally from Mexico, Oscar moved with his family to Australia in 2000. Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2011 with a BA (Honors) Oscar was awarded the Keith Macartney Scholarship for the Arts, the Louise Homfrey Award and the Hannah Barry Memorial Award. As well as reporting for Latin Times, Oscar's writng has been featured in Newsweek, New York Magazine (nymag.com) and Musee Magazine.

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