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Guilty Verdict in MA Double Murder Case

CUENCA, Ecuador (AP) — A court in Ecuador has found an Ecuadorean man guilty of premeditated murder in last year’s bludgeoning death in Massachusetts of a woman and her toddler son, a case controversial for its venue.

Under sentencing rules, the three-judge court in Cuenca can sentence Luis Guaman to between 16 and 25 years in prison for the 2011 murder in Brockton, Massachusetts, of Maria Palaguachi and her toddler son.

Prosecutors in Massachusetts sought Guaman’s extradition, seeking to put him in prison for life. But they were denied because, despite an extradition treaty, Ecuador’s new constitution bans the extradition of its citizens.

In all, eight hearings were held, including one Monday in which four witnesses including Palaguachi’s sister and husband testified via live video from Massachusetts.

Sentencing is set for later this week.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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