As expected, prosecutors to appeal Bender verdict

Prosecutors in Peréz Zeledón said Tuesday that the office would appeal the trial court’s decision in the John Bender murder case.

The court declined to convict Bender’s wife, Ann Maxine Patton, due to what the three-judge panel said was lack of evidence.

Prosecutor Fernando Oses argued that the death Jan. 8, 2010, was murder and not suicide, as the defense and Mrs. Patten said.

A decision to appeal was expected.

The Poder Judicial said Tuesday that prosecutors still think that there is sufficient evidence for a conviction. In Costa Rica a criminal court decision can be reversed on appeal. The case will be submitted to the Tribunal de Apelación de Cartago as soon as prosecutors have a chance to read the full decision of the trial court, said the Poder Judicial. That decision is expected to be released Friday.

The death took place in the couple’s five-story 8,000-square-foot glass-walled showplace home. It is located on the 5,000-acre Refugio de Vida Silvestre Boracayán in La Floridad de Barú de Peréz Zeledón. Bender earned in excess of $600 million with a mathematical approach to Wall Street investing.

The couple was alone in the section of the house where Bender suffered a bullet wound to the head.

The case was heard in the Tribunal de Juicio del Primer Circuito Judicial de la Zona Sur.

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