Thursday 2 February 2023

María Luisa Cedeño case: Defense tries to bring down the discovery of blood in the defendant’s car

Lawyer of one of the defendants insists his client wants to testify before he dies

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1 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – After it became known that the dog of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) detected blood in the car of one of those accused of the crime of María Luisa Cedeño Quesada, his defense tried to invalidate said evidence.

María Luisa Cedeño Quesada

This occurred in the continuity of the trial for the crime that occurred on July 20, 2020, in room number 3 of the La Mansion Inn hotel, in Quepos.

The accused, surnamed Miranda Izquierdo, was linked to the homicide due to an alleged bite that the victim had and due to the blood that the dog found in his car.

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Another of the defendants is a dancer, with the surname Herrera Martínez, to whom the same dog also found blood on different belongings as well as in the room where he slept in that hotel.

In his interrogation of the expert witness, defense attorney Erick Gatgens questioned whether the dog – an expert in detecting human blood – had already worked hours before inspecting Miranda’s car. He also questioned whether the guide could influence the animal’s reaction in any way.

However, the expert witness, Tatiana López Morales, a specialized technician of the Canine Unit, insisted that the animal had not done any work that day.

Bodaan wants to testify

The last defendant is the owner of the hotel, Harry Bodaan.

In the middle of the interrogation on Wednesday, Bodaan’s lawyer, Hugo Navas Vargas, expressed for the second time in a row that his client wants to give a statement. He begged the Court to listen to the businessman, since he, said the lawyer, “has been in poor health and wants to testify before he dies.”

Read more: María Luisa Cedeño case: Bites on cheek and forearm link hotel owner to murder

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The judges of the Tribunal Penal de Quepos, César Palma, Rodrigo Salas y Sandra Arrieta, unanimously decided Bodaan be able to testify only until after the expert witness finishes giving his testimony.

Later, in statements to the press, Navas said “Today (Wednesday) he (his client) insists again that he needs to testify now, that the witness be rescheduled (…). He is a person who has seven health problems detailed in the Forensic Medicine exam, he is stable, but at his age and with the health problems he has, coupled with the affectation that being in prison has caused him, anything can happen at any time, that is what he feels, that is how he has expressed it to me”.

The lawyer added that since Monday, Bodaan has had an improvement in his health, after the Institutional Care Center (CAI) fo the Adult Elderly, in San Rafael, Alajuela, took steps to regular his medications.

Thus, it is expected that the defendant can speak on Friday.

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