Sentences of Convicted Killers Of U.S. Citizen Extended

July 2, 2004

A court in the southern Pacific porttown of Golfito yesterday extended thesentences of the convicted killers ofUniversity of Kansas student ShannonMartin, who was stabbed to death there in2001, to 30 years in prison.The killers, Kattia Cruz and LuisAlberto Castro, were initially sentenced to15 years each for the murder and orderedto pay a symbolic $1 each in civil damages(TT, Dec. 24, 2003).However, Golfito Prosecutor EricMartínez presented an appeal to theAppellate Chamber of the Supreme Court,claiming that the crime warranted chargesof “qualified homicide.” The two had previouslybeen sentenced for “simple homicide.”The Supreme Court upheld Martínez’assertion on May 21, according to JudicialBranch spokespersons, and ordered theGolfito court to sentence the pair for qualifiedhomicide.Martin’s mother, Jeanette Stauffer, hassought justice in her 23-year-old daughter’sslaying for three years. She recentlyopened the Shannon Lucile MartinEnglish-Language Center, which offersfree language and computer classes toGolfito residents, in her daughter’s memory(TT, June 4).

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