John Poulos, accused of murdering DJ Valentina Trespalacios, denies the charges of murder and femicide
(CNN Spanish) –– John Poulos, the boyfriend of the Colombian DJ Valentina Trespalacios who was found dead in a garbage container, rejected the charges of homicide and aggravated femicide presented by the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office.
The hearing for charges this Friday, which was public like all processes in Colombia and was broadcast virtually, lasted more than 5 hours. When the prosecutor asked Poulos if he accepted the charges, the American said he did not and that he was aware of his decision, without elaborating.
Poulos is American and due to his limitations with Spanish he gave all his answers through a translator.
In a previous hearing to legalize the capture, which took place on Thursday, details about the relationship between Trespalacios and Poulos were exposed. Poulos’s defense alleged that there were flaws in the capture of Poulos in Panama and that due process has not been respected.
Poulos was detained at the Tocumen airport when he was trying to travel to Istanbul. The Colombian Prosecutor’s Office and the Police say they have more than 300 hours of security videos where Poulos and Trespalacios are seen from Friday night when they were together until Sunday when the well-known DJ was abandoned in a garbage container.
On January 31, the hearing for the insurance measure will be held.
The murder of Valentina Trespalacios
In the early hours of last Sunday, a recycler found the body of a woman inside a suitcase at the bottom of a garbage container in the southwest of Bogotá. He immediately notified the authorities, who confirmed that the body was that of Trespalacios, a well-known electronic music DJ. The Metropolitan Police officers at the crime scene contacted her relatives, who confirmed that the young woman had been with her boyfriend, a US citizen, since Saturday, January 21.
Preliminary forensic examinations by the Institute of Legal Medicine, an agency attached to the Colombian Attorney General’s Office, revealed on Monday that the young woman would have died of mechanical suffocation and that her body showed signs of having been subjected to force before she died.
“Through a special group made up of the Bogotá Metropolitan Police, in coordination with the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, the criminal investigators will be in charge of looking for probative material elements and information to establish the person or persons responsible for the death of this young woman. that was found abandoned in a sector of the town of Fontibón,” Brigadier General Carlos Fernando Triana, commander of the Bogota Metropolitan Police, told CNN.
Triana also stated that “a reward of up to 20 million pesos (the equivalent of about US$ 4,500) is being offered for information that allows the crime to be clarified.”
Investigators contacted the Panama Police, where Poulos had traveled on Sunday who, according to statements by the victim’s relatives to local media, had arrived in the country with the intention of starting a life with her.
This Tuesday night, the National Police of Panama reported the capture of Poulos at the Tocumen international airport. The Colombian authorities began the procedures for his deportation to the country, with the aim of answering the multiple questions about the circumstances of time, manner and place in which the death of Trespalacios occurred.
This Thursday, January 26 in the morning, John Poulos arrived in Bogotá, according to the Police of the Colombian capital. “More than 300 hours of video collected in different scenarios allowed the capture of this subject,” they reported on his Twitter account.
Fernando Ramos contributed to this report.