Thursday 26 May 2022

Hit and Run Driver Found Guilty of Homicide

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26 May 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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The Tribunal Penal de Goicoechea found Daniel Alberto Mora Monge, 34, responsible for the death of Lucía del Carmen Mata Durán, one of four cyclists run over on January 29, 2017, in Curridabat, San José.

Daniel Alberto Mora Monge is now in preventive detention while the sentence becomes final. Photo: Graciela Solís / La Nacion

Mora was sentenced to seven years in prison for “homicidio culposo” (culpable homicide) and pay Lucia’s parents, Jenaro Mata Zamora, 83, and Clara Durán Marín, 77, ¢117 million colones for material and moral damages.

Mata, 38, died at the Calderón Guardia Hospital on March 21 of that year, almost two months after being rammed along with three other cyclists by the 2015 Ford Mustang, registered to Mora.

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In closing arguments, Mora’s attorneys José Pablo Badilla and Carlos Chinchilla, asked for the acquittal, arguing that it could not be proven inconclusively that Mora was driving the vehicle and that, for them, “the victim placed herself in danger’s way.”

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For the trial judges Franz Paniagua Mejía, Alfredo Arias Calderón (presiding) and Maureen Iong Ureña, the testimonies heard and the evidence provided in the trial were conclusive to prove Mora’s guilt.

Mora was only tried in the death of Lucia Mata since the relatives of the other three victims came to a financial settlement with the Mora.

The facts

It was 4:11 am on the Sunday morning of January 29, 2017, when Mora ran over and killed four cyclists. A year later the Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalia) charged Mora for homicide.

Infograph by La Nacion

The four victims were: Mario Enrique Retana Pérez, 49; Lenin Manrique Ortiz Quesada, 46; Pablo Enrique Alcócer Alcócer, 54, and Lucía del Carmen Mata Durán.

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That early morning the cyclists were heading towards Turrialba and, when passing by the Walmart of Curridabat they were run over by a Ford Mustang vehicle, model 2015, registered to Mora. The vehicle was located by police in San Juan de La Unión, 500 meters from where the scene.

Vehicle involved in the multiple fatalities

Mora turned himself in to authorities 10 hours after the event.

Read more: In Costa Rica, It Is OK To Drive And Kill

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