After a year and four months in preventive detention (remand), Caleb Villalobos Aguilar, 30, is a free man, acquitted by the Limon criminal court accused of killing his friend Roberto Menocal, who he shot in the middle of a struggle when he intervened to prevent the now deceased from continuing to beat his live-in girlfriend and her two children.

Caleb Villalobos (left) was acquitted for the killing of his friend in a strulle to stop him from continuing beating on his woman and children

But, far from reproaching the year and four months that he was behind bars, he justified it, because after all he had ended the life of a human being and, even more, his closest friend.

During the trial, the woman gave declarations in defense of Villalobos, whom Jessica Jiménez Cordero considers her “hero”.

Judges José González Ulloa, Carlos Álvarez Arrieta and Marbeli Porras Venegas clarified that they would not call Villalobos a hero, but they did recognize that his action was fundamental to saving the woman and her children 11 and 8 at the time.

The accusation of murder against Villalobos arose from early accounts that he had shot his friend in the back while trying to flee. However, during the trial, witnesses told another story, the three-judge panel was told how Menocal had always been a violent man, was known to have weapons and boasted of, supposedly, that he had killed 15 men and he did not mind doing it again.

The court also learned of the domestic violence of which Jessica Jiménez, 33 years old, lived at the hands of her sentimental partner.

Villalobos faced 12 years in prison if he had been convicted.