The expected federal trial of a Puerto Rican woman accused of hiring an assassin to kill her wealthy Canadian husband began on Thursday, and the judge warned the jury that she "would get hot."
A decade has passed since Aurea Vazquez Rijos was accused of offering a man $ 3 million to kill real estate developer Adam Anhang.
Vazquez at that time was no longer in Puerto Rico, and was extradited three years ago from Spain with her 1-month-old baby after a long chase.
"This is a murder case," said Jose Ruiz, assistant US district attorney, in his opening statement. & # 39; It was to raise money from him & # 39;
Anhang was killed on September 22, 2005, almost at midnight on a Friday, at the corner of a cobblestone street in the historic part of the capital of San Juan.
The trial for the Puerto Rican woman and former beauty queen, Aurea Vazquez Rijos, began on Thursday. Vazquez is accused of killing his wealthy Canadian husband, Adam Anhang, more than a decade ago. She is photographed in San Juan in September 2015
Vázquez Rijos (represented again in San Juan in September 2015) was charged in 2008, but had already fled Puerto Rico and was living in Italy with her new husband and twin children.
He was hit in the head with an object and then repeatedly stabbed. Twelve hours earlier, he had told his wife that he wanted a divorce, prosecutors said.
"That's something she did not want," Ruiz said, adding that the couple therapist had previously recorded her reaction in her notes: "I'm not going to let you go that easy."
The couple had started dating two years before the murder, with Anhang buying a car from Vázquez, an apartment and a business in Old San Juan called "The Pink Skirt."
One day before the wedding, they signed a prenuptial agreement, with the value of Anhang estimated at more than $ 24 million and that of Vazquez at almost $ 62,300. If Anhang died, his wife would receive $ 8 million.
Six months after his death, Vazquez sued his parents for $ 1 million in damages and $ 8 million of his assets. Shortly after filing the lawsuit, she left for Florence, Italy.
Once there, prosecutors said that she wrote emails to her family asking for money.
Defense attorney Lydia Lizarribar rejected the accusations and told the jury that her client is innocent.
He said he would prove that Vazquez had wanted to go to Italy to study and work since 2002, and that he lived there with his real name.
Vasquez Rijos appears in the photo next to Adam Joel Anhang, who was her husband six months before she supposedly assassinated him
The real estate developer Anhang (pictured in brochures) was killed on September 22, 2005 at the corner of a cobblestone street in the historic part of the capital of San Juan.
"He was not hiding at all," Lizarribar said, adding that the couple was a perfect couple and he liked to travel together.
& # 39; Evidence will show that Adam was in love with his wife & # 39;
Among those who testify at the trial is Alex Pabon Colon, whose nickname is & # 39; The Crazy One & # 39 ;.
Prosecutors said he sold drugs in & # 39; The Pink Skirt & # 39; and in other places, and that Vázquez, his sister and a friend agreed to hire him as a hitman.
They said he killed Anhang and wounded Vazquez to look like a robbery, but he forgot to steal Anhang's wallet and other belongings.
Prosecutors said he then told a friend what he had done and asked him to drive around the crime scene to make sure Anhang was dead.
He also testifies to a man who sued for an unjust conviction after he was convicted of killing Anhang and spent eight months in jail. He was released when Pabon was accused.
When the police interviewed Vazquez, she said that a tall, black man with tattoos on his forearms had attacked them.
Vázquez Rijos is photographed during a hearing in Madrid in 2013. She was accused of offering a man $ 3 million to kill Anhang, after he expressed that he wanted to divorce her hours earlier.
In the weeks after the murder, prosecutors said Pabon was still sending letters to Vazquez's sister with demands for money and other things: "I do not give a damn if the victim's father kept everything," they said. wrote.
Lizarribar, however, said that Pabon only mentions "loans". in the letters, and that does not specifically request a payment.
Meanwhile, Vazquez was thinking of moving from Italy to Israel, falsifying documents to prove he was Jewish and asking a lawyer if Israel had an extradition agreement with the US. UU., The prosecutors said.
In June 2013, she was arrested when she flew to Spain from Italy. Two years later, in September 2015, she was extradited to Puerto Rico.
A pair of twins he had with a man in Italy stayed with his father.
Abraham Anhang, the father of the victim, told The Associated Press that he is waiting to see the end of the case.
"The closing is something we are praying for," he said in a telephone interview. & # 39; Thirteen years is a long time to wait for justice & # 39;