San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Suspect Sentenced for Killing Retired U.S. Man

THE man suspected of killing 76-year-old hotel owner Percy Lee WilhelmJr., known to his friends as “Lucky,” wassentenced to 35 years in prison on Sept.23, officials from the Nicoya CriminalCourt said.Agents of the Judicial InvestigationPolice (OIJ) had identified the primarysuspect in Wilhelm’s October 2003 slayingas 44-year-old Jorge Martín Gutiérrez,whom OIJ agents arrested on Nov.5.David Cascantes, of the Nicoya penalcourt, confirmed that Gutiérrez was convictedlast week.Wilhelm, a native of Punta Gorda,Fla., owned the Hotel Oasis del Pacíficoat Playa Naranjo, on the Pacific coast,and the Piano Bar in the Balmoral Hotelin San José. He was described by thosewho knew him as “mellow” and “warmhearted.”He spent some 44 years traveling theworld as a Merchant Marine captain,spending considerable time in SaudiArabia and Singapore. Wilhelm moved toCosta Rica in 1982 with his wife Aggie.(TT, Oct. 31, 2003).

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