This week marked the start of Anne Maxin Patton’s trial. Patton is accused of killing her wealthy husband and is also facing charges in relation to the trafficking of diamonds.
In January 2010, John Felix Bender died from a gun shot wound to the head. He was found on the 4th floor of the mansion he shared with Patton in Baru, Perez Zeledon. Patton claims they were both in bed when she awoke to find her husband with a husband. She claims she attempted to take the gun away when it fired and killed Bender.
Patton, a Brazilian naturalized as a U.S. citizen, met Bender in 1998. They bonded after learning they both battled bipolar disorder.
Bender reportedly earned $600 million for his mathematical approach to investing on Wall Street.
While living in Costa Rica, Patton says her and Bender regularly traveled to the U.S. to receive treatment for depression, and that Bender told her he wanted to end his life many times.
When investigators arrived at the couple’s 5-story mansion on January 8, 2010, they found numerous guns, and enough diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires to fill 4 suitcases. Bender had reportedly bought the jewels in Africa to sell them in private auctions. It was suspected the jewels were bought on the black market. If Patton is unable to verify they were purchased legally, the jewels will be forfeited to the state.
With the start of the trial this weekend, Patton and her legal team attempted to prove Bender killed himself.
However, when a Red Cross worker who cared for Patton on the day of the incident spoke in court, she reported that Patton was not showing signs of an overwhelmed and grieving wife, as her blood pressure remained normal, she did not show signs on anguish, and was surprisingly calm.
The defense has also attempted to prove that Patton could not have killed her husband because she was unable to use guns due to a neurological disorder. She was examined, however, and a doctor said she found no reason Patton would be unable to manipulate a gun.
The trial is scheduled to end on Friday.