A Puerto Rico woman found guilty of hiring a hit man to kill her wealthy Canadian husband more than a decade ago was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
Aurea Vazquez Rijos cried as a federal judge issued the sentence and ordered that she be transferred to a prison in Fort Worth, Texas. Judge Daniel Dominguez said he believed the jury’s guilty verdict over Vazquez’s statement that she is innocent.
Her defense attorneys plan to appeal in a case that led to an international manhunt.
Vazquez had been charged with offering a man $3 million to kill real estate developer Adam Anhang. He was stabbed repeatedly and hit in the head with an object while walking with Vazquez through the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital in September 2005, just 12 hours after prosecutors said Anhang had asked for a divorce.
Vazquez and Anhang had signed a prenup one day before getting married, with Anhang’s value estimated at more than $24 million and Vazquez’s at nearly $62,300. Six months after Anhang’s death, Vazquez sued his parents seeking $1 million in damages and $8 million from his estate.
She later left for Florence, Italy and was arrested in June 2013 after flying from Italy to Spain. She and her one-month-old baby were extradited to Puerto Rico two years later, leaving behind twin daughters she had with a man in Italy.
Also sentenced to life Friday was Vazquez’s sister, Marcia Vazquez Rijos. Still pending is the sentencing for an ex-boyfriend of hers, Jose Ferrer Sosa.
The main suspect, Alex Pabon Colon, pleaded guilty 10 years ago to killing Anhang and cooperated with prosecutors.
Among those who also testified during the trial last year was a man who sued for wrongful conviction after he was found guilty of killing Anhang and spent eight months in jail. He was released when Pabon was charged as federal authorities took over the case.