Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Guilty plea, life in slaying of ex-Winnipegger

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A man who recently came forward with stunning new information about the violent death of former Winnipeg millionaire Adam Anhang in Puerto Rico has now admitted to carrying out the sordid murder-for-hire plot.

Alex Pabon Colon -- dubbed "El Loco" by local media -- was sentenced Friday morning to life in prison in a plea bargain that caught the victim's family by surprise and provides vindication for another man who'd previously been convicted of the September 2005 slaying on the streets of San Juan.

Although he currently will not be eligible for parole, justice officials have apparently told Pabon they will reconsider that part of his sentence if he co-operates with the prosecution of three co-accused.

Anhang's estranged wife, Aurea Vazquez Rijos, and her sister and brother-in-law have been implicated by Pabon and were indicted by a grand jury earlier this month. They have yet to be arrested. Vazquez is pregnant with twins and believed to be hiding in Italy with her mother and an Italian man.

"The U.S. attorney's office and the FBI now have the hammer they've wanted and needed," the victim's father, Abe Anhang, told the Free Press on Friday.

He believes it's only a matter of time before Vazquez and her family members are brought into custody and held accountable for their alleged actions.

According to the indictment, Pabon says he was offered $3 million by Vazquez to kill Anhang. He says they met two days earlier to go over details of the deadly plot.

Anhang, 32, was beaten and stabbed as he and his wife were walking from a restaurant in Old San Juan where they had been discussing their pending divorce after just six months of marriage. Officials say Vazquez, who was slightly injured in the altercation, did not co-operate with the investigation and fled to Italy.

Nothing was stolen from Anhang and robbery is not believed to be the motive for the slaying.

Anhang was a wealthy real estate investor who developed beach-front condominiums and hotels in the U.S. island territory and was CEO of an online gambling software company based in Costa Rica. His estate -- estimated to be worth at much as $25 million -- has been frozen by the courts.

The Anhang family is suing Vazquez for US$50 million. Vazquez has since sued Anhang's parents seeking half his assets and earnings acquired during their marriage, plus an added $1 million in damages for freezing his estate.

A jury convicted Jonathan Roman Rivera, 24, of first-degree murder last October despite a lack of forensic evidence. Roman maintained his innocence all along.

It took eight long months but justice officials finally believe him -- Roman was freed from jail on Sunday. He apparently bears a striking resemblance to Pabon.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2008 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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