25 years in Ecuador for U.S. killings

May 8, 2012 at 2:20 PM

CUENCA, Ecuador, May 8 (UPI) -- A citizen of Ecuador has been sentenced to 25 years in prison there for killing a woman and her young son in Massachusetts.

The sentence, the maximum possible under Ecuadoran law, was announced late Monday online, The Boston Globe reported. A three-judge court in Cuenca found Luis Guaman guilty last week.

Guaman was arrested in February 2011 on charges of using a borrowed passport to slip through airport security. He was later charged with the murder of Maria Avelina Palaguachi and her son, Brian, in Massachusetts, but Ecuador refused extradition, instead offering to try him there.

Investigators say Guaman was sharing a house with his victims in Brockton in southeastern Massachusetts when he killed them and dumped their bodies the trash. He claims they were still alive when he flew out of New York, although the bodies had already been discovered.

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz refused to cooperate with the Ecuadoran prosecution, instead arguing for extradition. Guaman could have received life without parole if convicted in Massachusetts.

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