Monday 14 June 2021

25 years in prison for murder of the Spanish tourist in Tortuguero

(QCOSTARIC) Alvin Stanford Díaz Hawkings was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday for killing the Spanish tourist, Arancha Gutiérrez López, on August 4, 2018.

Pococí criminal court

The sentence was announced this Monday afternoon by the Pococí Criminal Court. The trial was presided by judges Cristian Corrales Lugo, Alexánder Gómez Moreno and Nazira Merayo.

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In addition, the judges determined that the man must pay ¢125 million colones (US$215,000 dollars) in damages.

Meanwhile, the judges dismissed the civil action against the Laguna Lodge hotel and the V.C.M. Costa Rica Groups tourist company.

According to the Prosecutor’s opening statement at the beginning of the trial, on the day of the murder, the Arancha Gutiérrez López went running through Tortuguero and, apparently, was intercepted by Díaz Hawkings, killing her.

Gutiérrez López, 31, was found dead at 7:30 am on a road near the hotel where he was staying, with signs of strangulation.

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Díaz Hawkings, the sole suspect, was charged in the murder, DNA matched the saliva found in the woman’s breasts. In addition, traces of skin appeared on the nails of the victim’s hands that correspond to the samples taken from the Díaz Hawkings, a Nicaraguan national working as a handyman in Costa Rica.

The judges dismissed the civil action against the hotel were the tourist was staying and the tour operator, given that Díaz Hawkings did not work for either and the crime was not committed on hotel property.

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FACT CHECK:
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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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