Venezuelan receives 34-year sentence for death of Texas expat

Published on November 18, 2020

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It’s been almost a year since Houston, Texas expat Nancy Thalmann was killed in her Challuabamba home while her husband Doyle slept in the next room. Her attacker was finally sentenced this past week.

The Azuay Criminal Guarantees Court unanimously sentenced Alfredo José R., to 34 years and eight months in prison, for both robbery and her death. The judges also ordered him to pay a fine of 1,000 basic salaries and $20,000 as “comprehensive reparation” to her next of kin.

Alfredo José is a 26-year-old Venezuelan national, who had done work for Nancy and Doyle in the past. Police said he had had an argument with Nancy the day before he killer her.

The next day he had tried to enter the neighborhood through the main gate, but the security guards had an order to not let him come into the urbanization.

So, he went to the back of the properties, jumped over the fence and made it to the Nancy and Doyle’s home.Once inside, Alfredo José physically assaulted 79-year-old Nancy, killing her, and then fled with a cell phone and a tablet.

During his trial, the prosecutor laid out all the evidence against Alfredo José. There was no dispute that he was the person who had killed Nancy. He was caught trying to pass into Peru the next day, with her cell phone, tablet, and a picture of her.

Article 189 of the Comprehensive Organic Penal Code (COIP) states that, if the “death of the victim occurs as a result of the robbery, the custodial sentence will be twenty-two to twenty-six years.”

However, if the judges feel there were aggravating circumstances, the penalty can be extended. They considered Nancy’s killing to have aggravating circumstances, as a robbery was also committed during her murder.

Alfredo José killed Nancy for a cell phone and a tablet. He of course won’t pay the monetary penalties, but he will serve 34 years in prison, if he lives that long.

He will have a lot of time to think about the two lives he took—Nancy’s and his—and all the people who he affected, over a few hundred dollars’ worth of goods.

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