October 24th, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) – Four officers from the Fuerza Publica were arraigned yesterday at 2 p.m. for allegedly killing apparently homeless Mario Alberto Espinoza Alvarez, 60, according to agents from the Judicial Investigation Organization.
Espinoza’s body was found on Wednesday, July 18th at 4:30 a.m, only 200 meters from the Lomas del Rio School in Pavas. The man’s body was found among the grass, lying on an old mattress, with his clothes on, no shoes, and a bullet’s exit wound in his chest.
Neighbors say that the police officers would routinely fire their weapons in the early mornings at the lot where the dead man was found. Reports suggest that Espinoza was asleep at the time of his killing.
When the shooting of the man was reported to police, the four accused officers were the first to respond to the scene.
The officers accused are identified by the last names Urbina (26 years old), Astua (23), Aguero (24) and Darmond (26).
According to judicial agents, the officers have been under investigation for four months. Agents say that the officers distorted the crime scene, as well as the evidence, in an attempt to hinder the investigation of the man’s killing.
Agents say the firearm used to kill Espinoza was one of the officer’s service weapons.
According to the authorities, one of the police officers was arrested in the Ministry of Security, where he was taking exams as part of a possible promotion to a higher position in the police department.