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  HOME | Caribbean

Puerto Rico Court Sentences Federal Judge's Son to 109 Years for Murder of Wife

SAN JUAN -- Pablo Casellas Toro, the son of a former Puerto Rico treasury secretary now on the U.S. federal bench, was sentenced here Thursday to 109 years in prison for the murder of his wife.

Casellas was convicted Jan. 22 of killing wife Carmen Paredes on July 14, 2012, at the couple's home in the affluent San Juan suburb of Guaynabo.

"I want to make it clear that this conviction and this sentence that you are ready to impose are an injustice, because I did not kill my wife Carmen," he told Judge Jose Ramirez Lluch at Thursday's hearing.

Besides the murder, the jury found Casellas guilty of illegal use of a firearm and of making a false report to police.

The false report charge arose from Casellas' contention that he was the victim of a carjacking on June 17, 2012.

Jurors accepted prosecutors' account that Casellas fabricated the carjacking in order to claim that one of his guns was stolen - the same gun that was later used to kill Carmen Paredes.

Casellas, who plans to appeal the conviction, testified during the trial that he arrived home the night of July 14 to find his wife lying dead on the terrace as an intruder was fleeing the premises.

Forensic evidence, however, showed that Paredes was killed inside the home and her body moved to the terrace.

Casellas' father, U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Casellas, was appointed to the federal judiciary in 1994 by President Bill Clinton.


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