Ann Patton

Guilty of murder: Costa Rica court convicts expat Ann Patton of killing husband in 2010

 

Ann Maxin Patton, 43, cries as a Costa Rica court delivers a guilty verdict in a high-profile murder trial. Patton was convicted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 of shooting to death her husband, U.S. financier John Felix Bender.

The Tico Times

Update, Wed., May 28: After being taken into custody on Tuesday, sources say Patton was transferred to a hospital in Pérez Zeledón. According to prosecutor Edgar Ramírez, officials are evaluating placing her in a psychiatric care unit of the Justice Ministry to serve her nine-month preventive detention.

 Original story continues here:

After more than a week of testimony, a Costa Rica criminal court on Tuesday convicted U.S. expat Ann Maxin Patton, 43, of shooting to death her husband, U.S. financier John Felix Bender, 44, in 2010.

The court sentenced Patton to 22 years in prison for the crime. Judges Adolfo Calderón Bogantes, Cristian Calvo and Liner Zúñiga Herrera ordered Patton to be placed into nine months of preventive detention while the sentence is reviewed.

This is the second time Patton has faced a murder trial over the incident, which occurred at the couple’s luxury jungle estate in Florida de Barú, Pérez Zeledón, in southern Costa Rica. A different court had acquitted Patton last year, but an appeals court ordered a new trial. The retrial began on Monday, May 19.

Patton, born in Brazil, has always claimed Bender’s death, the result of a single gunshot wound to the neck, had been a suicide.

At the start of the retrial last week, Costa Rican prosecutor Edgar Ramírez said, “We will demonstrate that there is convincing evidence, scientific proof that is irrefutable.” Patton said she fought with Bender that night in an unsuccessful attempt to wrestle the firearm away from him. Prosecutors, however, say she shot him.

Prosecutors said there were no signs of gunpowder residue on Bender’s hands, while Patton allegedly wiped her hands with napkins after the shooting. Those napkins revealed traces of gunpowder, prosecutors said at trial.

Costa Rica law enforcement officers take Ann Patton into custody on May 27, 2014.

The Tico Times

Among the evidence judges cited in delivering a guilty verdict were photos of blood patterns obtained at the scene, and a torn pillow, which according to the court, proved the weapon was found too far from the victim to have been a suicide. Prosecutors had presented the theory that Patton shot Bender, who was wearing earplugs and was found in a fetal position, while he slept.

“The firearm was far from the tear in the pillow [when it was fired], because if [the gun] had come in contact with the pillow, it would have produced a smoke and burn pattern, which leads the court to conclude that the firearm was far away from the victim’s head,” the sentencing judge stated.

Judges also cited the trajectory of the bullet, which they said could not have been self-inflicted.

“The fundamental element for which the court has based its opinion is the position of the body at the moment Judicial Investigation Police officers arrived, at which point the photos we can observe here were taken,” Calderón said.

Calderón said judges did not believe, based on the evidence, that Bender’s body was moved after he was killed, and they ruled against the possibility of a struggle.

“Beyond the fact that there was no blood on the defendant, beyond the fact that the pistol was found in another place, beyond the tampering of the crime scene, the only reasonable explanation, considering the body’s position and the evidence found on the body, is that the bullet wound is homicide, because there was no way the victim could have done it,” Calderón said.

Prosecutors, however, were never able to establish a motive in the alleged killing. To that point, judge Zúñiga said it is possible to commit a crime without a clear motive.

“If there is no known motive, we must examine the rest of the evidence, as established by Article 71 of the Penal Process Code,” Zúñiga said.

Correction: This story previously stated only one judge during the first trial believed there was not enough evidence to convict Patton. However, the first court’s ruling to acquit was a unanimous decision by all three presiding judges. The Tico Times regrets the error and have included a copy of the ruling below. 

A total of six judges weighed in during both trials. Only one judge, during the first murder trial, believed there was enough doubt to find Patton not guilty. Five judges, based on scientific evidence and testimony, found Patton guilty. According to that evidence, the gun was 50 centimeters away from Bender’s head when it was fired – too great a distance to have been a suicide.

The new trial took place in the southern Costa Rican city of San Isidro de El General, and lasted more than a week.

Unanimous

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Kurt Roehm

…. and I was even considering Costa Rica as a place to retire. Big mistake, as the justice system is a travisty, and Costa Rica is now definitely not on my list for vacations or residency.

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Paul Rainwater

I visited there in 1998 and did not like it at all. Then went on holiday to Thailand in 2005, came back to USA sold my house and have live here ever since. But now with the latest coup and junta government taking over it’s getting bad here too… not sure where I will go next maybe try out the Philippines or back to the USA for a while.

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jaimech

Two Trials, the possibility to hire the best lawyer, and yet everything proves that she did it. No injustice here. The shot was from behind, there was gun powder on her hand and not on his, then all the trafficked gems and her contradicting declarations. She probably thought Costa Rican officials were idiots! Well, bad news arrogant lady. Now let’s hope that the investigation about the gems lead the authorities to also convict her for a few more years.

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Kurt Roehm

Spelling correction: travesty

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Paul Rainwater

After just watching the CNN story on this, she looked and sounded guilty. And yes there are many corrupt justice systems thru out the world but I don’t beleive this has any bearing on this case.

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Ben

Thanks again CNN they had it in for this Lady. I never watch CNN or any US station anymore.

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Ben

Justice system in Costa Rica is backwards they let drug dealers go that bring 1 ton of cocaine and they let corupt judges help cartels. Costa Rican justice system helps ex prez to steal from the people. This Lady never stood a chance once the bad justice system tastes blood they never give up. She should have ran back to Brazil. Never trust Costa Rican Justice system its corupt 100%. Not a proud day to be CR.

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SDPUS

This is why both foreign business and people will continue to depart from Costa Rica. Criminals are in control. And I say this fully understanding that the government could care less what the people think, including their own citizens, just as you Ben. I repeatedly hear how CR people don’t like gringos. This is yet again living proof. President Solis doesn’t have the help to change this from within. When government criminals are allowed to operate with impunity, they will continue to arrogantly defy the laws. This is what corrupt GOP leadership has done to the world, it has implanted these type of corrupt 3rd world governments. People who just do not give a shit, they will do whatever they can to steal, just as the corrupt GOP has done in the USA. for decades. Eventually revolution will succumb to this madness, and I predict government criminals everywhere will one day be incarcerated in their own prisons. But first it will become extremely ugly. Ultimately it is the peoples choice of what type of world we live in. The status quo will not go quietly…Solis needs to immediately put some powerful people in the judiciary and from elsewhere in government, or else it will be too late. Just last night the Colombian Narco traffic leader who was tied into the Euro Band was released, with no conditions….A narco government is at the root.

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Ben

Facts on Justice ministry in Costa Rica. Cartels has control of Judges and most of the Lawyers in Costa Rica. Even when the police arrest the cartel the very next day they are back out on the streets. Cartels also have control of some people in Congress. Cartels can get surport from all types in goverment. The system of Justice is full of Narco protectors every Costa Rican says it. President Solis needs to fire most of the Judges and lawyers that work for Goverment. Change the culture and you watch Cartels will run. Your right also about GOP planting and controling goverments. Your also right revolution is stiring in the streets in Costa Rica you can see it with the teacher on strike and with young people starting to see the coruption of past goverments like PLN. Most of my Costa Rican family are pissed off at what has happen and tried of nothing ever changing. I am glad to have 2 passports and 3 residences just incase thing get really bad in Costa Rica.

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SDPUS

Unfortunately I do not see this as uniquely a CR problem. Governments all over are screwing their citizens. It is small groups in government who are controlling this world, and they are all using their citizens. What is happening in the USA is no different. Obama can’t control what the seeds the GOP has planted. This is why I predicted Solis would have the same problems as Obama. MEP was a fixed disaster, there will be other areas where political disasters surface. In the USA corporations have the power. In Central America the Narcos have the power. The common denominator is $$$, people are easily corrupted by big money. The corporations and cartels have lots of it hidden all over the world. There needs to be a concerted effort by citizens all over this globe to take back governments from the ruthless ciminals that have co-opted the inner workings. There needs to be many government officials all over this globe jailed. And as soon as it starts happening, you are exactly right Ben…they will run like hell. But ultimately they can’t escape, because I know that the good people of this planet have them far outnumbered. They know that too, that is why they are building up these military style police forces. The media must get on board, and have a voice in bettering this world. I realize many people are scared, but the power ultimately lies with the people. Multi-national corporations/cartels need to be globally regulated. The ending of the drug war would take billions out of their pockets. Governments are only locking up poor minorities for drugs, and acting like they are being tough on crime. This is a crock of shit!!! The real criminals have been working with impunity, moving tons of cocaine, under the guise of government. And then law enforcement demands more taxes for more police/military people and equipment. This only empowers the villains, and they use the poor as their scapegoats, like they are really being tough on crime. It’s totally an inside job!

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Mike Kleinschmidt

How can you jail government officials when the justice system fails or is as corrupt as they are.

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SDPUS

Mike, eventually the honest folks need to take charge. Electing Solis is a start, but corruption is so deep seated that it will take a lot of time and effort to pull the weeds that have grown all over. If Solis does not put his foot down and make some real examples of how corruption will no longer be institutionalized, then it simply will not be countered, and the criminals in gov will become more emboldened. In my 10 years of living full-time in Costa Rica, I have experienced first hand how institutionalized corruption is within all regions of Costa Rica. Some may remember the wiki-links cables that were released over the last few years, about the apparent arrogance and corruption within CR Government. These people have a plan, and they are putting it into effect. Their crime should be taught with very harshly. There is nothing worse than a corrupt public servant who uses the institution of government to steal from their people. The citizens here need to stand up, and demand that this behavior will not be tolerated. The strategy of the drug war needs to be changed worldwide. There is no effective law enforcement remedy to drugs. Its black market only serves to corrupt. The GOP has fooled many in the world to believe that we do not need to regulate law and order within the capitalistic markets. When a black market like drugs is created, we all suffer the invariable consequences of corruption. Right now Costa Rica is at the center of that corruption, as they are in the middle of the transit zone.

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Binky

Well, in the U. S. she would have gotten away with the murder. I respect Costa-Rican Judicial System now even more. I’m sure there’s much more about these American crooks and thieves which is not revealed here yet.

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Mike Kleinschmidt

Thanks to CNN for the TV series and again bringing to American and quite possibly the world’s attention the problems with doing business in many Latin American counties. As for Costa Rica I had a friend that lost nearly $20 million in property in Costa Rica through a swindle and an attorney there. I also knew another Real Estate agent that handled property in the Yucatan peninsula for de Madrid who was jailed for murder and drug trafficking. He was selling property near Cancuun for this individual’s family in order to BUY de Madrid’s FREEDOM from the Mexican Justice System. So, without further evidence on the trajectory of the bullet etc, I would have to say MS. Patton was framed; robbed; and Costa Rican authorities got away with yet another swindle.

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jaimech

Two Trials, the possibility to hire the best lawyer, and yet everything proves that she did it. No injustice here. The shot was from behind, there was gun powder on her hand and not on his, the experts determined that the scene was re-arranged after the shot, finding DNA on one of the caskets when if you shoot yourself there will be no possibility of this happening. Then all the trafficked gems and her contradicting declarations. She probably thought Costa Rican officials were idiots! Well, bad news arrogant lady. Now let’s hope that the investigation about the gems lead the authorities to also convict her for a few more years.

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SDPUS

The first court acquitted her! All the more reason why people are not going to believe this story. The lawyers must have negotiated that $90 million to be divied up, and that is why she was convicted in the second trial. This smells dirty! And my experiences and time in this country have clearly shown the amount of corruption that exists at every level.

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jaimech

The first court acquitted her but then it was discovered that the defense lawyer had had private business transactions with one of the judges, therefore deeming the sentence invalid and opening the possibility of a new trial. It is not about believing the story or not, it is about a judicial system, law and evidence against Bender. Your very fanatic assumption and fantasies about lawyers dividing monies, do not changing nothing. Too much crap Hollywood movies my friend!

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Ben

Inside job 100% Costa Rica justice system is Corupt 100%. Maybe its time for US citizen to go back to there country.

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Norma Campbell

I think its a shame. I know it may be puzzling, but I do not believe this woman is guilty. I believed she truly loved her husband. Considering all she has been thru, no doubt it may hasten her own demise, considering her physical poor health condition. Sadly, I have to say…a trial does not always equal justice…I know from personal experience.

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thistle67

To the majority of posters;
Grow up, write relevant posts and, learn to spell properly prior to posting. Examples here would be that Thailand is irrelevant and travisty is not a word..

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Aitor Xaranga

Wake up folks! The lady will rot in jail before she gets any piece of the $70 Million fortune deposited in trust with the local shyster. This can buy anything in Puravidaland…

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SDPUS

BINGO, you are exactly right AITOR. While admittingly so, I know little about this case outside of what has been presented, I do have first hand experience with the judicial criminals in this government. They will continue to “play” the judicial process, and I would bet my life this case is nothing more than extortsion and thievery. CR lawyers are pathetically corrupt. They will do nothing to honor their law system. OIJ leadership must be replaced, and they should be exported to the USA and tried criminally under the RICO laws. As you see in Panama today, these types of criminals are no longer prevelant. This is exactly what it took to clean up Panama after the corrupt dictatorship of Noriega. No people should have to live under that blatant corruption. Extradite some of these government criminals and they will learn quickly. Tolerate it and they will become more bold. This has been brewing in Costa Rica for some time now…Solis has the power to arrest and extradite them to the USA. I guarantee that would change their criminal behavior very quickly. Jorge Chavarria should be ashamed of turning a blind eye, good riddance to a do nothing leader. If your not part of the solution, then you are definitely part of the problem!

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jaimech

First this gringo couple comes and buys land, tear down tropical rainforest to build an obnoxious mansion in a third world country. Then they hire guards with paramilitary training in a country with no army, to shoot at people that get any closer to their place, then they start trafficking gems, finally the woman gets a new boyfriend and plans to flee with him and the fortune of gems that were never declared and illegally imported into the country. Glad to hear that Costa Rican judicial system got this criminal in jail! Well deserved! Read the whole story and then write an opinion. She even paid someone to intimidate the judges during the last couple of days.

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jaimech

First this gringo couple comes and buys land, tear down tropical rainforest to build an obnoxious mansion in a third world country. Then they hire guards with paramilitary training in a country with no army, to shoot at people that get any closer to their place, then they start trafficking gems, finally the woman gets a new boyfriend and plans to flee with him and the fortune of gems that were never declared and illegally imported into the country. Glad to hear that Costa Rican judicial system got this criminal in jail! Well deserved! Read the whole story and then write an opinion. She even paid someone to intimidate the judges during the last couple of days.

http://www.outsideonline.com/photo-galleries/Paradise-Lost-John-Ann-Bender.html

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SDPUS

Tears down tropical forest? I only see where the article says they built a wildlife preserve. Obnoxious mansion? From the article description it sounds rather eco-friendly. Sponsored a host of researchers (botanists) from CR, USA and Germany. So I guess in your opinion that justifies stealing $90 million? Paramilitary trained guards, were these foreigners? I see they hired armed rangers to fight off poachers…maybe you should refer to the other Tico Times article a week back that shows a man holding a Puma he had shot, and that supposedly is being investigated. What proof is there that the gems were bought int CR illegally? I see nothing in the article that says she was going to run off with another boyfriend. Nor do I see anything that mentions she tried to intimidate the judges. Youobviously have an agenda with these fictious comments Jaimech. Most likely you too are a CR lawyer, inventing some BS to put out for people to read. Like I said, I know little of this case besides what the articles show. You obviously have a different level of comprehension and ability to invent facts and happenings that are not mentioned. People like you are exactly what is wrong with this society. I think it is fair to conclude that both John and Anne had severe health issues. And some unscrupulous government official twisted a tail of BS to steal their money. For those who live in Costa Rica, this type of behavior is far too common. And it needs to be severly dealt with. Where is the money from his trust? That is the real motive that must be explained!

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jaimech

Just go and check out all journalism that has been done about this matter in Spanish language in Costa Rican TV and print press, in case you have the ability to speak two languages. Then you will see everything I talk about. Things do not only have on side in life buddy! Welcome to the critical view of events. Take two sides and then present a balanced opinion! Somewhere in the article the journalist expresses that CR is heaven now as Cayman islands if you want to avoid taxes and enjoy a fortune. Well, not so much for this couple of selfish capitalist minded Americans.

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SDPUS

Most people who arrogantly make such claims, and then provide a link as a form of citation, use the information from that link. Now you tell me I need to go to other sources to verify your claims? Not sure where you were educated, but I am yet to see a Prof who would accept such a bs excuse. Your about as fair and balanced as Fox News. The article says John Bender put $90 million in a trust. Maybe he was or wasn’t avoiding taxes. If that was the case he and his wife should have been prosecuted under those terms. Anything else that you are saying is pure conjecture counsel. Where is the $90 million? I am sure that was plenty of money to divide amongst a bunch of crooked selfish CR lawyers. With her in jail, I guess the hoodlums are free not to return the money? Tax havens for evading taxes? It usually takes a willing institution to help hide the money. Hence why organizations like Liberty Reserve are able to freely and openly operate in this country. Pay-offs! Costa Rica is making their own name to the world community. Just as George Bush did in the USA. Watch where Costa Rica’s image ends up, if this crap is not honestly cleaned up. It won’t be good. I understand that many Ticos think Gringos have stolen their land. I believe gringos actually paid for the property. Just as many Japanese etc. have done in the USA. Scamming it back will be a short term resolution, that will hurt your country in the long run. But of course, the scamming lawyers could care less about who they screw, including their own citizens. We can sit here and point fingers all day. In the end, only the honest will come out on top. So you decide what type of reputation you want for your country. One reason I left the USA was because of the crap Bush was doing. I thought I was coming to paradise. Paradise has an extremely seedy side, as many ex-pats are finding out. I am married to a Tica, and our only child was born here. She, like Ben are from good Tico families, and have grave concerns for the corruption that has enumered this society. Just as many good people did in the USA under the Bush regime. We elected a educator, an honest person…to help clean up the image that Bush destroyed on the world stage. I don’t suggest your country continue on that type of path. Electing Solis was a very good move, and it sounds like a very familiar story. So again, you decide what type of future you want.

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jaimech

Talk about conjectures when all you are doing is to accuse lawyers of being corrupt and dividing monies with NO EVIDENCE. Yes gringos “pay” for the land ridiculous amounts of dollars in a system that empowers them to do that, while there are big numbers of costa Ricans living under poverty and peasants and farmers without land. Yes, We know Americans pay for everything with monies that come from an economy which foundation is war, anti-environment capitalism, criminal pollution, we also know that they come to Costa Rica in big numbers to buy sex from child sex traffickers. Paying for land doesn’t necessarily means it is a good thing. See thing behind money. Try to see equality social practices and then you will realize that Americans that buy land in third world countries are buying them from poor people that have no option but selling their beautiful lands because commercial practices such as CAFTA has deemed them unable to sustain themselves by farming, unemployed and poor.

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Ariel Nonofbusines

I agree with your comments to Jamech who doesn’t like wealthy people and stands in negative judgment without looking at the facts. . Perhaps he is jealous. You are right. If he had the right public job and the ability to steal from citizens, he would probably follow those same CS civil servants. They built and went up stairs 4 stories to avoid damaging the rainforest, they didn’t create any lawn to speak up, and then they worked to rehab animals there. Also, they purchased the land so others wouldn’t build massive estates and golf courses on it and to ensure it could remain wild. If the world had more people like them, I am sure our wildlife would have a better chance. The rest of my comments and the reasons they prosecuted her are below. It’ was to justify stealing all of their money; which although he had millions from the stocks world, this prosecutor claimed he built the house will illegally obtained money. Just that statement can clearly be disproven.. It means he’s lying and will lie about anything.

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OUTRAGED

I have been following this and am SO UPSET at the blatant corruption and injustice of the Costa Rican government that I am officially BOYCOTTING ALL COMMERCE from COSTA RICA- I own an organic botanical herb company in USA and will no longer obtain ANY of our botanical ingredients from this supposedly eco-friendly yet highly corrupted country- We will find new supplies of organic ginger root, etc.! I will not support this treachery and encourage others to do the same.

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jaimech

Two Trials, the possibility to hire the best lawyer, and yet everything proves that she did it. No injustice here. The shot was from behind, there was gun powder on her hand and not on his, then all the trafficked gems and her contradicting declarations. She probably thought Costa Rican officials were idiots! Well, bad news arrogant lady. Now let’s hope that the investigation about the gems lead the authorities to also convict her for a few more years.

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SDPUS

The best lawyer? There is no such thing in a corrupt fixed system, especially when you are a foreigner. Unless of course you are a narco. But in this case, the corrupt lawyers already had control of Benders money. Where is the $90 million? I still have not heard anything from Jaimech on that. He seems to have a lot of inside info that the rest of us are not privvy to. Sounds like you could be the official OIJ spokeswomen… no one is going to believe a word, until an official explanation of where the $90 million is comes out. There is not a bigger motive in this case than that money. The lawyer who controlled that trust, what is he up to? Your right, there are two sides to every story. We see what the Judiciary said about Ann Bender. Now lets hear what is happening in regards to the lawyer who stole the trust fund. They should be a major part of this investigation, but yet Jaimech fails to mention anything in relation to that lawyer. Why?

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jaimech

Hopefully the $90 million get confiscated, and prosecutors skillfully claim it to restore all the damage these two did to our society, first by bridging the law by hiring paramilitaries, then by trafficking gems illegally, and finally by causing two very expensive trials. Then if there is anything left and it does not come from illegal activities family members of the deceased should claim it. There are laws about trust funds and monies belonging to criminals in Costa Rica. Let’s just patiently wait to see if those laws also come to fruition.

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SDPUS

Who would believe what you just stated cost any where near $90 million? What proof exists that these gems were brought in illegally? And I am not saying they were not brought illegally, because gems are obviously small and easy to smuggle. But ripping up the paperwork would also be pretty easy, to frame that they were brought illegally. Most likely the lawyer that conrolled the trust also controlled that paperwork, if it did exist like Mrs. Bender claimed. Can you give us all some more insight on the paramilitaries? Is it illegal to hire private security? Were they acting illegally? I don’t know that answer, but am certainly curious. Considering John Bender was worth a few hundred million dollars, I find it difficult to believe he was involved in an elaborate scheme to evade taxes on maybe $5-$10 million in gems. But I guess it is possible. The article you linked made it sound like he did some pretty good things for Costa Rica, in regards to a wildlife refuge, stopping poachers, hiring botonists from CR, USA and Germany…not to mention the others that he employed. I certainly hope all the facts come out. And as I first mentioned, these costs are no where near $90 million. It sounds like you are creating an alibi for the funds not to be returned. I personally lost 3/4 of a million to a group of corrupt CR lawyers, and have been drug through the mud in trying to get justification for the theft. I know very well the corruption and lies of this system. And that is the reason I closed down the Foundation I was running, which coincidentally was funded by the same people that John Benders parents use to work for. This was a multi-million dollar project that Costa Rica will now never see carried out to fruition. And yes, it is the citizens of CR who will now never see that project completed. And that is all because of the corruption of a group of lawyers in Guanacaste, who 4 years later have never been punished. I certainly hope Prof Solis cleans up his backyard, because it is filthy with corruption. You reap what you sow.

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SDPUS

I have to get a plane now, I won’t be continuing this conversation. It is useless, your words clearly define where you stand. Good luck!

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jaimech

Out of arguments?

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jaimech

The last thing Costa Ricans want to see is forest areas and monuitains turned into privately owned mansions. More national parks is what is needed. So much for the publicized “help” and altruist actions of these two trying to appear as good doers while engaging in illegal activities. Right now all we have, is a sentence from a court, evidence that could not be refuted and a pending case for the smuggling of gems. Paramilitary is illegal in Costa Rica and a synonym of autoritarism, genocide, drug dealing and abuse in whole Latin America. Of course, if you decide to show off your sophistication, and wealth in a country area full of people used to country manners where walls and private property are not so clear and where people are used to walk, and horse without discrimination in mountains and “potreros” you have to hire armed guards to show those silly Costa Rican farmers the American way of private property, guns and rich and famous life of waste and ostentation, right?

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SDPUS

Hopefully the Chinese will have your back if Ortega tries to take back Guanacaste, it is obvious you are another anti-gringo.

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jaimech

No thanks. So the American army can do the same things that did in Panamá in the 80´s, with the Irán Contra scandals in El Salvador, or with the bogus war based on lies about mass destruction weapons in Irak? US has historically never minded about having the back of anyone but about the available resources an businesses of the countries they have “helped”. Go and help the big numbers of poor an unemployed on your own cities first, cause there are lots! Give people in your country health care and better education before sending your soldiers to “help” with practices such as the ones perpetrated in Abu Ghraib. No Thanks!

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SDPUS

George Bush and Oscar Arias have a lot more in common than people think. They both run their countries with shady intelligence agencies. And they both have dirty hands. The best thing for both countries citizens was kicking both their political parties out of office. It takes time for Obama to clean up the mess Bush made. Just as it will take a lot of time for Solis to clean up this government. History shows, it will happen.

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SDPUS

Speaking of Iran Contra, wasn’t that when Jorge Chavarria got his start? He certainly hasn’t done his job in the last 4 years very well. It is great to see people like Alberto Rodriguez Baldi calling out all the corruption that exists, including the blind eye of Jorge Chavarria in regards to PLN scandal. This will get cleaned up! Apparently it will get a jump start in October.

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jaimech

I agree on this comment, Peter.

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OUTRAGED

JAIMECH- I HOPE YOU EXPERIENCE BETRAYAL AND ALL YOUR ATTITUDES BITE YOU IN YOUR ASS-GIVING YOU BRAIN DAMAGE!

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jaimech

No worries. I am used to people without thoughts recurring to insults. that just shows your real personality, unable to argue with a minimum of reason and eager to insult at the first disagreement or opportunity. Thankfully this does not characterize all Americans but a good part of them only.

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BRC

How do you recur to an insult? And why do you seem so eager to see Ann Patton suffer? There’s only one person alive who can say with ANY certainty what happened that night and in any civilized country on Earth that equates to reasonable doubt.

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jaimech

What insult are yout alking about?

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BRC

You wrote, “No worries. I am used to people without thoughts recurring to insults” I had no idea what that meant and was trying to figure out why you seem so happy about Ann’s situation, and so misleading and/or misled about their attempted conservation efforts.

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jaimech

What I meant is that the person using hte nickname “OUTRAGED” insulted me on this thread withouth presenting any valuable opinion. My answer tho his/her insult was exactly that: I am used to people using insults when they don’t have reasonable arguments. They do not really insult me but just show the kind of people they are. I am happy to see that anyone violating law gets convicted. That’s all.

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BRC

Well, I would think you understand that you sound pretty self-satisfied, and even gleeful, about a seriously ill woman being sentenced to prison and her entire fortune confiscated. It’s hard for me to understand your point of view when the story reads like two people setting up a preserve, suffering medical and emotional ill health, one suicide and another life destroyed.

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Ben

Lots of US business people are saying what you are saying. If US citizen want to boycott no problem.

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BRC

My husband and I just recreated the suicide as based on the CNN story. 50 centimeters is not very far folks – especially with a man with the arm span of John Bender. It is thoroughly plausible that if Ann reached over her husband and pushed his arm back his trigger hand would have twisted on the edge of the bed, creating an upwards trajectory. This is re-creatable and FAR more likely than Ann sidling up to the bed and shooting the back of John’s neck from underneath as portrayed by the prosecution in the CNN video transcript of the court proceedings. From all accounts Ann loved her husband and had no reason to kill him and was doing her best to get him stable. Our weigh in is that the CR government wants to keep all the assets that they seized (even down to the kitchen appliances and the cars they are even now driving)and are more than happy to lock her up so that her physical ailments and lack of care kill her.

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Ben

I know she didn´t kill her husband. Something is very wrong with this case. Everyone i speak with says it i speak with.

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jaimech

if you KNOW then you should have been a witness on the trial!

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BRC

Oh, and if two hands are COVERING one hand, wouldn’t THOSE be the hands with the gunpowder on them???

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AnnInjustice

I know Ann personally. She is innocent. Every comment being made about the Costa Rican judicial system being corrupt is absolutely true. And now an innocent woman will spend the next 22 years of her life in jail (but with her medical conditions, its likely she won’t make it that long). This is just sickening… I can’t even come up with strong enough words in my vocabulary to express how I really feel right now. But for those that believe she is guilty-you are entitled to your own opinion. But maybe consider where your information and facts, or lack of rather, is coming from first before you rush to judge. She did not kill her husband and is innocent.

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Ariel Nonofbusines

I would like to see a petition started on this issue but I didn’t think I was the right person to write it; given I don’t know her personally. Will you take that on? I’d be happy to help with the writing part. Change.org will facilitate and has helped a lot of people in this way. Maybe enough pressure will help Costa Rican citizens and upper govt officials so they won’t want to see millions of US citizens claiming the country is corrupt and telling US citizens to boycott travel there for this reason and because innocent people like this are put in prison as a front to stealing their money. Maybe if some of her estate can be proved to be in the hands of these so called police and/or the judges, prosecutor that could get her freedom back. My comments on this story are below. I have the same title on facebook. Write back if you will.

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Ariel Nonofbusines

Watch the special CNN put together on this stinky case!! Immediately, the corrupt police took EVERYTHING out of the home INCLUDING THE SINK! You would think they would want the area protected for future investigation and similar if they were to focus on the requirements of the job, but no… it was about stealing the estate. Then during the interview.; when asked why it was necessary to take all of those thing: The STINKING and Corrupt Prosecutor actually looked into the camera and CLAIMED THE BASIS FOR TAKING ALL THE ITEMS WAS BECAUSE THEY WERE SUSPECTED AS BEING PURCHASED WITH ILLEGALLY OBTAINED MONEY. My God!! If ever there was a person who earned millions and could prove he did it legitimately as a famous broker.. it was her husband, John. My response to that was ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? It was clear HE (the prosecutor) was the ONLY person LYING and this was about his getting his hands on their money. His eye and his face said it all! That place isn’t safe, its corrupt and US and other foreign citizens should boycott it for reasons like this. The reason he and others had to chase this case until they wore her down with a conviction was to justify taking and keeping over $20M worth of their valuables. The home had been filled with not only gems but these Tiffany repro lamps. I SAY to the AUTHOR of THIS STORY to DARE. I DARE YOU!! Follow the money and see if you can’t find those 550 stained glass lamps. I bet each police officer who worked on the case has one and then some!!! I bet the prosecutors wife is wearing highly valued jewels too. And.. the sink, stove and refrigerators… They clearly were taken because someone associated with the police wanted them. They were so busy looting the estate that they did little to document the case and then it was essential to the theft that they BUY her GUILTY. Yes.. I said BUY HER GUILTY. I mean those who found her guilty got money. This case stinks VERY BADLY!! To the Author of this story… Follow the money!!! Tell us what happened to all of those items. Go to the homes of the police, take pictures and see if Ann can’t confirm she once owned the items. That is what will set her free! Prove they all stole her estate blind and that the prosecutor, the judges and all of them now have parts of that estate. Stained glass lamps are easy to find and easy to notice.

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Stephen Michael Reid

This is a very very sad story. John was my weight lifting partner when he was in college. We trained together for a couple of years. My fondest memories: 1. I entered my first bodybuilding show in 1987 and John went with me, even though it was his birthday. He stayed and helped me through the morning show and then made it back home for his birthday. 2. Going to a halloween party in the Delorean(happy days!)

I started searching for him on facebook and then found his story on google, i didn’t think it was him until i saw the pics. I’m upset with myself for not keeping up with him, last time i saw him was 1992. He will be missed!!! R.I.P