PUNTARENAS — Two former bodyguards of Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen and her US football star husband Tom Brady were sentenced to five years in prison Friday for opening fire on photographers in Costa Rica.
One of the two photographers who made the complaint works for the Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The shooting took place in April 2009 as the powerhouse couple celebrated their wedding at a seaside home in Costa Rica.
A court in the tourist resort town of Puntarenas, on the central pacific coast, found Costa Rican guard Miguel Solis and Colombian Alexander Rivas guilty of attempted murder, while a third – Manuel Valverde of Costa Rica – was acquitted.
The three judges ruled unanimously. The court also ordered the defendants to pay ₡5 million (about $10,000) in damages to each of the two photographers.
The defendants refused to testify during the proceedings, and prosecutors lacked exculpatory evidence.
Yuri Cortez, a Salvadoran who works for AFP, and Costa Rican colleague Carlos Aviles had been trying to take pictures of the wedding from a neighbor’s property.
The neighbor had given permission to Cortez and Aviles to shoot the wedding on their property. The three private guards stopped the two photographers and forced to leave the vicinity near where Bundchen lived.
The guards later summoned the photographers backed to the house, and said New England Patriots quarterback Brady wanted to speak with them, according to Cortez. He said the guards then began to threaten and menace the photographers, demanding they turn over their cameras and memory cards.
The two refused and returned to their car when they said a bodyguard fired a shot at the vehicle. The bullet shattered the rear windshield of the car and barely missed the photographers, according to court files. Neither of the photographers was hurt.