Judges surprisingly trim sentences in Puerto Rican kingpin case
Santo Domingo.- In a surprising development, a 3-judge panel court on Friday trimmed the sentences to five years against four of nine convicted of belonging to Puerto Rican kingpin Jose David Figueroa Augusto’s money laundering network.
With one dissenting vote, the National District Court of Appeals reduced from 12 to five years sentences against Eddy Brito, former husband of codefendant Sobeida Felix; and from 15 to five years the convictions of Sammy Dauhajre, Juan Jose Fernandez Ibarra and Ivanovich Smester.
For Mary Peláez, daughter of the late TV producer Milton Pelaez, the court cut the 15 year sentence to seven.
Judges Manuel Hernandez Victoria and Daniel Julio Nolasco ruled for the defendants appeal, whereas their colleague Antonio Sanchez Mejia issued a dissenting opinion, noting that the National District 1st Collegiate Court had upheld the lower court’s sentences.
The court upheld the 5-year suspended sentence imposed on Madeline Bernard, the widow of Figueroa’s alleged partner, Police colonel Jose Amado Gonzalez, gunned down in front of his upscale residence on December 24, 2010.