Thursday, December 7, 2023

Soccer player gets 3 years, 8 months for death of newlywed couple

Former professional soccer player Joao Maleck has been sentenced to three years, eight months and 15 days in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 3 million pesos (US $141,600) after being found guilty of aggravated homicide last week in connection with a traffic accident in 2019. 

Maleck plowed his Ford Mustang into a car at 9 a.m. on June 23 in Zapopan, Jalisco, killing newlywed couple María Fernanda Peña and Alejandro Castro, who had married the night before. 

The athlete was also ordered to pay 932,000 pesos (US $44,000) to the couple’s children.

Maleck, who was playing for a Spanish soccer club at the time and vacationing in his hometown of Guadalajara, had posted numerous photos to social media the night before the accident from a nightclub where he had been partying until late.

Maleck, 20 at the time, was found to have been speeding and had alcohol in his system at the time of the accident. He has been in jail since June 24, 2019.

The soccer star’s lawyer, Alberto González, says his client has matured since the accident and wants to get back to living his life.

Attorneys for the victims said they will seek to appeal the sentence and will argue for more time behind bars. María Peña’s mother also expressed her dismay.

“They died, she at 26 and her 33-year-old husband, with all the dreams of forming their own family … It is not fair that this person has ended their lives … I demand justice, I am not going to stop until I get it,” she said when the sentence was announced on Friday.

Despite the sentence, the law states that Maleck could be released from prison in just 15 days provided he pays the fines.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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