With the recent judgment issued by the famous jury as an imperative guide, the Fifth Section of the Provincial Court of Pontevedra, based in Vigo, Valentín Alonso Becerra was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the crime of murder. In the afternoon of December 2, 2020, he stabbed his wife Soledad Rey Valverde to death, 59 years old. Due to his extreme obesity and another set of diseases that caused him to be disabled by 65%, he could not defend himself or escape from the attack. The sentence is considered treachery, but not brutality, because it was rejected by the citizens’ court despite the 21 stab wounds suffered by the victim, as well as the aggravating circumstances of kinship and discrimination based on gender. The aggressor acted out of “contempt” for his wife “because of her female status” and decided to kill her “as an act of imposition and command.” “He felt that he was superior to the female victim because of his status as a woman,” the decision further explained, and he ended his life “as a way to show” her that he was “an inferior person. “
The prison sentence established by the magistrate-president is lower than what was requested by the Prosecutor’s Office, the private prosecution, and the popular accusation made by the Xunta, which includes 25 years in prison, and higher than what was proposed by the defense, 15 years. , so it is foreseeable that one of the parties will appeal to the Superior Court of Xustiza de Galicia (TSXG). Along with the measure of imprisonment, after which he must serve another five years of supervised release, the court agreed about the convicted person to deprive the extended parental authority about the youngest of his children, judicially declared not able due to suffering from a disability, which cannot be contacted or approached for 26 years. In addition, he must pay this young man 200,000 euros and his eldest son, who is a private prosecutor, another 100,000.
A “swift and brutal” attack
The judge concluded that the jury reasoned “completely and logically” in the verdict, in which it concluded that Valentín killed Soledad in the family home with a knife with a 20-centimeter blade, causing her multiple and serious injuries: there were 21 stab wounds. , and eight of them were seriously stabbed. You are one “swift and violent” attack in which multiple stab wounds were inflicted, “about 17 centimeters deep, on broken ribs or affected organs such as “liver, lungs, or heart.”
The victim “had no opportunity to defend himself or flee because of the limitations he was subjected to,” but, based on the jury’s order, the sentence established that it was not an “unprovoked” attack because the accused did not push the woman, and she reached for a knife to defend herself. This circumstance, the judge reasoned, does not, however, exclude the presumed betrayal: the victim did not cause harm to her husband with that weapon, her illnesses prevented her from fleeing when the accused committed the fatal attack on him, and, moreover. , although the deceased has defensive wounds on her hands from the previous struggle; they are “minimal” and show that the woman’s attempts were born “from her self-preservation nature” without “real effectiveness” against the “aggressor and the homicidal action.”
As for the defense attorney trying to get Valentín to consider that he confessed the crime to a taxi driver and wrote a letter to his children asking for forgiveness, The court stated that this party did not allege any mitigating circumstances and that, in any case, those facts are “irrelevant” to appreciate the confession because the accused did not acknowledge the facts at any time during the judicial procedure.
Both jurors did not appreciate the aggravating factor of sexist violence
The jury, made up of five women and four men, unanimously decided that Valentín Alonso killed his wife, but not to appreciate the infidelity nor to establish the aggravating situation of gender discrimination, which came out ahead with seven votes in favor and two against. In addition to the serious fact of the crime itself, the trial heard the testimony of the couple’s eldest son, who reported that since he was a child, he saw insults and violent behavior from his father towards his mother. One time, he said, he hit her head on the heater, and on another occasion, he yelled at her, “Curse me, if you’re a boy, I’ll eat you.”