Killers of ex-Miss Venezuela Monica Spear jailed for 30 years

Caracas, Feb 14 (IANS/EFE) The last three defendants in the assault and homicide of ex-Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her husband in January 2014 were sentenced to 30 years in prison, the maximum penalty under Venezuelan law, the attorney general’s office said on Saturday.

“Considering the convincing proof presented by the prosecution, Alejandro Maldonado Perez, 23, Franklin Cordero Alvarez, 30, and Leonar Marcano Lugo, 35, were sentenced to 30 years in prison,” a note from the AG office said.

Previously sentenced to between 24 and 26 years were Jose Ferreira, 20, Nelfrend Jimenez, 23, and Jean Carlos Colina, 21, while the minor at the time, Gerardo Contreras Alvarez, now 19 years old, was sentenced to four years in jail.

The latter confessed on a video that aired last year on October 2, when a new edition was presented of the book “The Homicide of Monica Spear”, that all of them shot guns, but that he believes it was he who shot the bullet that ended the life of the former beauty queen at the age of 29.

“I didn’t kill her because I wanted to, I just shot and the bullet happened to hit her…I’m not sorry” and “I know that someday I’m going to get out of here,” he told the book’s authors, Maria Isoliett Iglesias and Deivis Ramirez, from his cell.

Those now behind bars gunned down Spear and her British husband, Thomas Henry Berry, 39, on a highway in central Venezuela where they were driving with their five-year-old daughter.

The child was shot in a leg but recovered and was sent to live with her maternal grandfather, Rafael Spear, in Orlando, Florida.

Contreras told the book’s authors how they put rocks on the highway and waited until some vehicle had an accident so they could then assault the people inside it.

“Spear remained quiet – it was a robbery. I searched her. She said nothing. The husband talked, but I didn’t understand anything because he was talking another language,” the convict said, then revealed that he opened fire, he and “everyone”, after the prompt arrival of a tow truck that offered the victims breakdown assistance.

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