10 convicted in attack on ex-Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in Dominican Republic

Ten of the 13 people Dominican authorities accused of attempting to murder former Major League Baseball player David “Big Papi” Ortiz have been convicted.

On June 2019, Ortiz was shot in the back while at a bar in his native Dominican Republic.

Judges in a Dominican court on Monday handed down sentences ranging from five to 30 years in prison against several men accused of participating in the attack.

The convicted men were found guilty of charges ranging from attempted murder to conspiring and using illegal firearms as well as associating with criminals, the Dominican Republic’s Office of Attorney General said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Eddy Vladimir Féliz García, 26, and Rolfi Ferreras Cruz, 27, received the longest sentences “for their direct participation in the assassination attempt,” the attorney general’s office said. Ferreras Cruz was accused of shooting Ortiz while riding a motorcycle driven by Féliz García. Both were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, 28, was sentenced to 20 years. According to the attorney general, Rodríguez Mota is “the person who paid those who carried out the act” against Ortiz.

The remaining seven men received sentences of less than 10 years.

Oliver Moisés Mirabal, 28, and Eduardo Ciprián Lebrón, 24, were sentenced to a decade in prison. Gabriel Alexander Pérez Vizcaíno, 31, and Joel Rodríguez de la Cruz, 28, were sentenced to nine and six years in prison, respectively.

Franklin Junior Merán, 26, Junior César La Hoz Vargas, 28, and Porfirio Ayendi Dechamps Vásquez, 29, received five-year sentences each.

Three people were acquitted because of insufficient evidence, including Víctor Hugo Gómez Vásquez, the alleged mastermind of the attack.

Gómez Vásquez covered his eyes and cried moments after hearing the verdict Monday night, the Dominican newspaper Diario Libre reported.

In addition to serving their respective sentences, the 10 convicted men must pay 50 million pesos in compensation for damages caused, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Authorities investigating the shooting found Ortiz was confused with another person at the bar who was the intended target of the murder plot.

Ortiz underwent multiple surgeries in the Dominican Republic and the U.S. after the attack.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.

The former baseball player led the Boston Red Sox to victory in the 2013 World Series, when he was elected the Most Valuable Player.

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