SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — One of the accused conspirators in the Adam Anhang murder trial testified Monday that the victim was “very dear” to him, that he had nothing to do with the killing and that the murder actually wrecked his own personal fortunes.

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SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — One of the accused conspirators in the Adam Anhang murder trial testified Monday that the victim was "very dear" to him, that he had nothing to do with the killing and that the murder actually wrecked his own personal fortunes.

Jose Ferrer-Sosa, 45, a cook at the restaurant financed by Anhang in Old San Juan, is accused of plotting the murder-for-hire of the millionaire businessman in 2005, in a conspiracy along with Anhang’s widow Aurea Vazquez-Rijos and her sister Marcia. They are charged with promising a hit man $3 million for the killing, which was to look like a robbery.

<p>Adam Anhang.</p>

SUPPLIED

Adam Anhang.

"How did you feel when you heard that (Adam Anhang) had been killed?" defence lawyer Ovidio Zayas asked.

"That I lost it all," Ferrer-Sosa replied. The first defence witness in the trial, he told the San Juan jury that he was expecting that the restaurant, called the Pink Skirt, would someday belong to him. With Anhang dead, he said, that possibility ended.

The man who attacked and killed Anhang, a drug dealer known as Alex "El Loco" Pabon, has already confessed that he used a cobblestone and a knife to commit the murder 13 years ago on a quiet street in Old San Juan, a popular tourist site.

Pabon testified last week that Ferrer-Sosa and the two Vazquez-Rijos sisters met with him on the day before the killing and discussed how "to kill the Canadian." He said he was told that Aurea Vazquez-Rijos was worried about an impending divorce, and wanted Anhang dead so she could get access to his estate, valued at $24 million.

Two hours before the killing, Pabon said, Ferrer-Sosa telephoned him and alerted him to the fact that Anhang and his wife were having dinner at a particular restaurant, and it was time to set the murder plan into motion. Pabon then followed the couple for several blocks, staying in the shadows until an opportune time for the attack, just after midnight.

On the witness stand Monday, Ferrer-Sosa told an entirely different story. He said that when he first got to know Anhang, they had a "wonderful" relationship. "When we met, he was super cool," he said. "He loved how I cooked. I prepared lunch for him, and he loved it . . . He became very dear to me."

He said Anhang, a real estate developer, even took him around to look at projects in the San Juan area that Anhang was involved in.

He denied taking part in any conspiracy to kill Anhang, his boss at the Pink Skirt, and said that on the afternoon of the murder, he did a few odd jobs at the restaurant, bought some marijuana from a dealer he knew, and went home. He testified that he got a phone call from a hospital in the early morning hours of Sept. 23, 2005, telling him that Vazquez-Rijos was being treated for injuries in the attack, and that Anhang was dead.

He got up, he said, and drove to the Pink Skirt to shut it down for the morning. Then he went to collect the BMW that Anhang had left in a parking lot near the murder scene.

Ferrer-Sosa will be cross-examined Tuesday.

city.desk@freepress.mb.ca