Herradura murderer gets 130-year symbolic penalty

The Tribunal Penal de Puntarenas issued a symbolic sentence of 130 years in prison against the 26-year-old man who set fire to a shipping container and killed the four persons sleeping inside in Herradura June 10, 2011.

The man is Ólger Vásquez Sibaja, and prosecutors said that the motive was revenge against one of two women who were sleeping inside the shipping container. Vásquez chained up the doors to the container so that those inside could not leave before he used accelerants to torch the place.

The dead were brothers Meykel Andrés Villalobos Miranda and Jonathan Alberto Villalobos Miranda, María Félix Sánchez Mairena and a girl, Camila Vanesa Delgado Morales. Ms. Sánchez was identified as the former companion of the accused.

Under Costa Rican law, the penalties assessed by the trial panel are reduced to a maximum of 50 years imprisonment.

The man also was convicted of theft because he took some of the belongings of the persons he killed. That proved to be his undoing because they were found on his person when he was arrested two weeks later in Venecia de San Carlos.

The fire happened on a farm some distance from neighbors. Metal shipping containers frequently are used for storage and living quarters with some modifications.

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