BOSTON — An Ecuadorian court has convicted a man for the murders of a woman and her toddler in Brockton last year.
Luis Guaman was today found guilty in Cuenca, Ecuador, for the bludgeoning deaths of Maria Avelina Palaguachi and her 2-year-old son in February 2011. Guaman, who had been a housemate of the victims, fled to his native Ecuador after the bodies were discovered.
As the AP reports, the trial in Ecuador for the Brockton murders was “controversial for its venue.” The wire service details:
Prosecutors in Massachusetts sought Guaman’s extradition, seeking to put him in prison for life. But they were denied because, despite an extradition treaty, Ecuador’s new constitution bans the extradition of its citizens.
Guidelines in Ecuador call for Guaman to be sentenced to between 16 and 25 years in prison for the convictions. His sentencing hearing is set for later this week, according to the AP.
The brief trial included witness testimony from Massachusetts via live video. The Plymouth County district attorney, Timothy Cruz, had refused to cooperate with the trial in Ecuador while he sought extradition of the suspect.
From the courtroom in Ecuador, The Boston Globe adds:
Defense lawyer Italo Palacios attacked the lack of physical evidence in the prosecution’s case, saying they only had copies of the fingerprints, not the originals.
“What did they send from the United States for this trial? Nothing,” he said as Guaman sat beside him. “It is that simple.“