Monday 20 March 2023

Prosecutor requests 255 years in prison against accused of murdering Dr. María Luisa Cedeño

The defendants are Harry Bodaan, former owner of the hotel where the doctor was murdered; the former employee of the accommodation and dancer Teodoro Herrera; and the administrator of the place, Luis Carlos Miranda.

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QCOSTARICA – In the trial for the murder of Dr. María Luisa Cedeño in July 2020 in a hotel in Quepos, the Quepos and Parrita Prosecutor’s Office requested a sentence of 255 years in prison in total against the three suspects.

María Luisa Cedeño Quesada, anesthesiologist murdered in a hotel in Quepos. Photo taken from Facebook.

The prosecutor’s representation requested, during the conclusions of the trial, 83 years in prison for Harry Bodaan, 72 years old and former owner of the hotel where the doctor was murdered; 83 years in prison against Luis Carlos Miranda, former administrator of the hotel; and, 89 years to former employee of the hotel and dancer Teodoro Herrera.

Read more: Murder of María Luisa Cedeño:: Owner of a beach hotel to be jailed

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The request was made Tuesday morning, during the conclusions of the trial that began six months ago, that is currently taking place in the Criminal Court of the Second Judicial Circuit of San José.

The prosecution stated that the doctor was raped and murdered at the Hotel La Mansion Inn, in Manuel Antonio. The participation of Bodaan and Miranda in the rape is not as clear as that of Herrera, the main defendant for the crime, but the prosecution maintains that the first two were witnesses to the sexual abuse and that the three men, together, were involved in the taking the life of the doctor

The defendants are charged with “homicidio calificado” (qualified homicide) and three qualified violations.

Read more: Case of María Luisa Cedeño: Autopsy reveals rape and fatal injury to the neck

According to the prosecutor in the case, Edgar Ramírez, during the reading of his conclusions, the three men “acted jointly, voluntarily and consciously collaborating” while adding that this was a “hate crime” against the doctor, was a hate crime against women.

Cedeño, who was staying at the hotel, was found lifeless in her room after they allegedly took her to the bathroom to wash her body, as her body appeared with damp hair, on the bed mattress, which was also wet.

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In her autopsy, it was determined that the doctor suffered such strong sexual and physical violence that her cervical vertebrae were affected, causing her death.

In turn, in his body the forensics found DNA from Herrera Martínez and, inside Cedeño’s shoe, DNA from this former hotel employee was found, since he would have stepped on the victim’s blood barefoot.

During the investigation, it was also revealed that Cedeño defended himself with his feet and fingernails, which fell off and were found at the crime scene.

According to an opinion by forensic odontologist José Manuel Fernández, bites appeared on the victim’s body that coincide with the bites of Bodaan and Miranda, and although forensic odontology standards prevent assuring with complete certainty that Bodaan and Miranda were the ones who bit the doctor, the Prosecutor’s Office maintains that this would be proof that both Bodaan and Miranda helped Herrera to rape Cedeño.

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According to criminal regulations, a person in Costa Rica cannot be sentenced to more than 50 years in prison, therefore, in the event of a sentence such as the one sought by the Prosecutor’s Office in this case, the defendants would only have to serve out 50 years.


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