The popular jury on Friday unanimously declared Bernardo Montoya, the man accused of sexually assaulting and murdering in December 2018, guilty of all the charges he was accused of – murder, sexual assault and illegal detention. to Laura Luelmo, the 26-year-old teacher from Zamora, in the town of El Campillo (Huelva).
The Laura Luelmo case, on trial almost three years later
The reading of the verdict took place shortly after 6:00 p.m. after around five deliberations by the five men and four women that make up the jury, who had to answer and motivate a total of 19 questions.
After that, both the Prosecutor’s Office and the accusations brought by the family and the Junta de Andalucía have maintained the requests for punishment made yesterday, according to sources from the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA).
At the trial, held behind closed doors, Montoya did not acknowledge the facts, although he apologized to Laura Luelmo’s family after acknowledging that he had transferred the young woman’s body. This is the only thing that the defendant has admitted in his statements both on the first day of trial and in the last session, as reported during the week by his lawyer, Miguel Rivera, since it was ratified in his latest version that he blames his ex-partner as the alleged perpetrator of the crime.
The three parties request the same penalties, 20 years in prison for a crime of illegal detention, 12 for sexual assault and permanent reviewable prison for murder.
After hearing the verdict, the judge-president of the trial, Florentino G. Ruiz Yamuza, will have to pass sentence in accordance with what was stated by the parties and in the sense in which the jury has pronounced.
“Our immense gratitude”
Francisco Luelmo, Laura Luelmo’s uncle and attorney for the private prosecution, has read a statement on behalf of the Luelmo Hernández family this Friday after learning that the popular jury has unanimously declared guilty of all the charges Bernardo was accused of Montoya.
At the door of the Provincial Court, the lawyer, excited and sometimes with a broken voice, has read a statement from the Luelmo-Hernández family in which he expresses his gratitude to all the professionals involved in the case and to the residents of El Campillo that helped them in such a complicated trance.
Thus, they have publicly expressed their gratitude “to each and every one of the members of the Civil Guard who selflessly devoted their knowledge and efforts during Laura’s disappearance to the investigation and clarification of the facts.”
In addition, “to the professionals of the different Institutes of Legal Medicine and specifically to those of Huelva for the impressive work carried out”, since they have also highlighted the work of the officials of the Court of Instruction number 1 of Valverde del Camino who achieved to face with professionalism the enormous work that supposed the investigation of the case and especially to Loli “.
After highlighting the work of the two legal professionals who have made it possible to articulate the accusation (Coronada Mantero and Rosa Borrero), they have described the work of the Prosecutor’s Office as “impeccable”.
Subsequently, they have shown their gratitude to the City Council of El Campillo that “gave all their support to the family”, while they wanted to thank “with all their heart” the people who, even abandoning their chores, participated in the search for Laura, and “especially to the citizen who located his body.” “For him our eternal gratitude”, they have expressed.
“Our immense gratitude to those who altruistically gave us shelter during the months of December and January, which are so terrible for us, because without their protection we would not have been able to bear the suffering,” said the family.
Finally, they thanked the media for their understanding, which “have understood that, for the Luelmo Hernández family, their privacy and that of Laura (although she is no longer present), is transcendental.”