A Dominican court has convicted 10 people in connection with the 2019 assassination attempt on legendary Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
A man ambushed the baseball Hall of Famer and shot him in the back while Ortiz was at a bar with friends in Santo Domingo.
Two men, including the alleged shooter Rolfi Ferreras Cruz, were each sentenced to 30 years in prison by the First Collegiate Court of Santo Domingo.
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Víctor Hugo Gómez Vásquez, the alleged mastermind of the attack, along with two other defendants, were acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence.
Eight others received prison terms of between five and 20 years.
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Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, 28, was sentenced to 20 years. Rodríguez Mota is «the person who paid those who carried out the act» against Ortiz, according to the Attorney General’s Office of the Dominican Republic.
Oliver Moises Mirabal, 28, and Eduardo Ciprian Lebron, 24, each received ten-year prison sentences.
Gabriel Alexander Pérez Vizcaino, 31, and Joel Rodríguez de la Cruz, 28, were sentenced to nine and six years, respectively.
Franklin Junior Meran, 26, Junior Cesar La Hoz Vargas, 28, and Porfirio Ayendi Dechamps Vasquez, 29, received five-year sentences.
The convictions included charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to use and use illegal firearms, and conspiring with criminals.
Ortiz enlisted the services of US-based private investigators who ultimately determined that the former baseball player was being targeted by a Dominican drug trafficker whose motive stemmed from jealousy.
The findings of former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis were strikingly different from the theory of law enforcement in the Dominican Republic.
Dominican authorities believed that a hit man was actually hired to shoot Ortiz’s cousin, Sixto David Fernández. Ortiz and Fernández were sharing a table at the time of the shooting.
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Dominican police have also previously noted that hitmen mistook Fernandez for Ortiz, even though the three-time World Series champion is one of the country’s most beloved and recognizable figures.
Ortiz, affectionately known as «Big Papi,» is a 10-time MLB All-Star who hit 541 home runs in a two-decade career. He retired in 2016.
At the time of the shooting, Ortiz was spending part of the year living in his native Dominican Republic.
The shooting left Ortiz seriously injured. Doctors removed his gallbladder and part of an intestine. He later returned to the United States, where he underwent additional surgeries.
The 10 convicted men must also pay a fee for damages caused, according to the attorney general’s office.
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More details of the sentence will be released on February 8, 2023, authorities said.
Associated Press contributed to this report.