San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Murder trial against U.S. woman underway

The murder trial of U.S. citizen Ann Patton began Monday in the Southern Zone canton of Pérez Zeledón. Prosecutors allege the woman murdered her husband, John Bender, in order to steal millions of dollars worth of fine jewels.

Bender was found shot in the head on Jan. 8, 2010, at the couple’s luxury home south of Costa Rica’s capital, Noticias Repretel reported.

On Monday, Patton delivered an opening statement at the start of the four-day trial, which will include the testimony of 25 witnesses.

Contact L. Arias at

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