San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Judge a no-show at ex-Peace Corps volunteer’s sentencing

Sentencing for U.S. citizen Jason Puracal, 34, was delayed after Judge Krigger Narváez didn’t show up for sentencing Tuesday.

“We just confirmed that Magistrate Krigger did not bother to show up for the sentencing hearing today in Rivas,” Puracal’s family wrote on the website “The prosecution, defense and U.S. Embassy appeared for the hearing and waited for a half hour before being told that Krigger did not show up for court and did not plan to. The court has not given any reason for the delay or any indication of when sentencing will take place.” 

A Nicaraguan court convicted the former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and RE/MAX real estate franchise owner of drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime. His conviction came despite little to no evidence of wrongdoing, family members, an attorney and local media said. 

Puracal has insisted on his innocence since his arrest last November in the town of San Juan del Sur, near the Costa Rican border. He said he doesn’t know any of the Nicaraguan suspects in the case.

He faces up to 30 years when sentenced. His family in Tacoma has said they will appeal, but they cannot do so until sentencing is complete. Puracal’s family also said they uncovered documents proving Narváez is not even a licensed attorney, a requisite for becoming a judge.

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