Costa Rica appeals court overturns murder conviction of US expat Ann Patton, orders her release

February 20, 2015
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Ann Patton, a U.S. citizen found guilty of killing her husband, U.S. financier John Felix Bender, in Costa Rica in 2010, was released from prison Thursday at 10 a.m. after an appellate judge overturned her 22-year sentence, a family friend confirmed to The Tico Times. Patton was serving preventive detention while judges reviewed the May 2014 conviction.

The appellate judge ordered what will be Patton’s third trial in the shooting death of her 44-year-old husband, 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 in 2013, but an appeals court ordered a new trial that started on May 19, 2014.

Patton has been ordered to hand over her passport to authorities and is prohibited from leaving the country as the third trial is prepared. She must also report weekly to the the judicial office closest to her home, according to a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office.

The story is developing. Follow www.ticotimes.net for updates. 

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