iStarmedia Internet Solutions  - The Competitive Edge! - Website services for your business... Design... Marketing... e-Commerce... click here!

 Click here to buy movie posters!

San Jose,
Costa Rica

Full Weather

Subscribe to
our Mailing List!

 Subscribe to USA TODAY and get a FREE Atlas

Top Stories
Full News index

Special Reports
Full Special Reports index

The Internet
Full Internet index

Villalobos Update
Full Villalobos index


Full Business index


Costa Rica Books
Great books on Costa Rica at

Full Travel index

Real Estate
Buying and Selling
Real Estate in CR

Full Retirement index



Public Forum

Contact InsideCR
We love to hear from our readers

About InsideCR
Costa Rica's Other Voice

Online Classifieds
Place a classified ad online


Learn Spanish

Display advertising information

Job opportunities at
Inside Costa Rica

Business Cards



Search Costa Rica

  Rent a Car in Europe




Saturday 03 May 2003

3 face trial in slaying of KU student

Costa Rica: Judge says trial will be held this month in death of woman who had been studying abroad A judge on Friday ordered two men and a woman to stand trial on premeditated murder charges in the slaying of Shannon Martin, a University of Kansas biology student who was stabbed to death two years ago in Costa Rica.

Pedro Irigonegaray, a Topeka lawyer representing Martin's mother, Jeanette Stauffer, said he was pleased that the three would be tried.

"We hope justice will be served," Irigonegaray said during a telephone interview Friday in Topeka.

Martin, a 1996 graduate of Shawnee Heights High School, went to Costa Rica in 2000 as part of a study-abroad program, then returned one week before she was to graduate to gather more specimens of a tree-dwelling fern she was researching.

Shannon Martin

Martin was 23 years old when she was stabbed to death around midnight on May 13, 2001, while walking from a bar to her host family's home in the town of Golfito, 190 miles south of San Jose, the capital.

Last month, prosecutors filed murder charges against Kattia Cruz, 28; Rafael Zumbado Quesada, 48; and Luis Carrillo Castro, 38.

After hearing prosecutors' evidence during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Judge Daniel Moran said all three defendants should be tried for conspiring to kill Martin.

Defense attorneys had portrayed Cruz as the trio's ringleader, hoping the judge would decide that Zumbado Quesada and Carrillo Castro should face lesser charges. Costa Rica doesn't have the death penalty, but a premeditated murder conviction carries a prison term of more than 20 years.

Moran left it up to court administrators to determine a trial date, but said proceedings must begin before May 23, the last day authorities can detain Cruz if her trial hasn't begun.

Jeanette Stauffer was in court for the preliminary hearing but left Costa Rica earlier this week. She and other family members plan to return for the trial, said Edrick Martinez, the case's lead prosecutor.

Irigonegaray -- who said he has spent hundreds of hours working on the case free of charge with help from his partners, Elizabeth Herbert and Bob Eye -- said he isn't licensed to practice law in Costa Rica but also plans to be on hand for the trial.

Moran refused to allow Stauffer to take the stand during the preliminary hearing, ruling that her testimony was irrelevant. Martin's mother is offering a reward of up to $50,000 to anyone who has information about the killing.

Home / News / Contact UsSubscribe / Advertise / Privacy Policy

Copyright All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Design & Hosting by: iStarmedia Internet Solutions