Three sentenced in Venezuela over ex-beauty queen killing

Sep 24, 2014, 12:50 IST | PTI

Caracas: Three men were sentenced to more than 20 years in prison in Venezuela over the killing of an ex-beauty queen and her partner.

All three, aged 18, 19 and 21, pleaded guilty to the crime yesterday, the attorney general's office said. The victims in the January roadside robbery and shooting were former beauty queen Monica Spear and her partner Thomas Berry.

The three sentenced were among 10 people charged with the crime. Two of them were minors. Spear was Miss Venezuela in 2004.

In a robbery turned violent, she and Berry were shot to death in their car January 6 in front of their five-year-old daughter Maya on a road in the north of the violence-plagued country.

The killings caused an uproar inside Venezuela and abroad. They caused President Nicolas to move up implementation of a nationwide anti-crime plan.

The UN says Venezuela suffers from a homicide rate of 53 per 100,000 inhabitants, making it the second most violent country in the world after Honduras.

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