October 2nd, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) A former security guard at a hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos who was formerly convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Justin Johnston, a student from Kansas, was acquitted of any blame in a retrial which concluded on Monday.
Johnston was part of a group of 12 students who had come to Costa Rica to learn Spanish.
Johnston was shot dead by the Nicaraguan security guard, Jorge Eduardo Guevara. Guevara said he thought the boy and his friend were attempting an assault or robbery.
Guevara was acquitted by Judge Luis Fernando Calderon, who determined it was unwise for Johnston and his friend to have ran through the hotel grounds in the pre-dawn hours wearing backpacks, and Guevara legitimately believed the pair were going to commit an assault or attack him.
The judge ordered Guevara’s immediate release, and dismissed a civil action for damages brought by Johnston’s family against the owners of the hotel.