Ann Patton, the wife of John Félix Bender, goes on trial today for his murder.
Bender died Jan. 8, 2010. Both lived relatively secluded lives on the couple’s 5,000-acre Refugio de Vida Silvestre Boracayán in La Floridad de Barú de Peréz Zeledon. Their home was a dramatic, five story 8,000-square-foot glass-walled home on the property.
Bender earned in excess of $600 million with a mathematical approach to Wall Street investing. He ran several arbitrage funds before suffering a stroke in 2000, according to online sources.
Mrs. Bender, who is a Brazilian naturalized as a U.S. citizen, was detained shortly after the death.
Bender died from a bullet to the head at his home. Initially investigators suspected suicide, but they said they found inconsistencies in the way the body lay and other factors. One factor is that Bender was left-handed and he suffered a bullet wound to the right temple.
The trial is expected to run for four days and see testimony from 25 witnesses, said the Poder Judicial. The case is in the Tribunal Penal de Pérez Zeledón.
Another factor is the discovery of great numbers of jewels at the home. Although they were not searching for jewelry, agents of the Judicial Investigating Organization confiscated boxes of jewels. The material includes loose stones and fully produced bracelets and watches. The jewels may be unrelated to the murder investigation, but agents said at the time that import taxes may not have been paid on the material.