Abanto Double Murder: ‘All my life I’ve been trying to make ‘girls’ happy’

Accused of beheading his wife and daughter in Abanto says he suffered ‘more than anyone else’ in last word twist

Ainoa de las Heras

Faustino Mendez, accused of beheading his wife and daughter in their Abanto chalet in March 2020, used the last word at the end of the trial to insist that “all my life I have tried to make the ‘girls’ happy” “. As he explained, in his family “the women are always called that, like the Andalusians. The same way we call my parents “bad”.

In a rather unrelated intervention lasting several minutes, Faustino, still wearing his wedding ring, suggested that “it’s terrible that Mirren and Paola are dead, but I can’t do anything”, despite the fact that he assumed they were killed “so that they would not suffer.” The accused said he was “so unhappy that he can’t even ask for forgiveness” and revealed that two of his sisters were undergoing psychiatric treatment.

“Borges says that an act can justify a person’s life. I know that one action can destroy him. I am destroyed. I don’t want women or a gang. i have no life I’m sorry,” he said, before reiterating that his wife suffers from macular degeneration, “which at the age of 60 will accelerate”. committed suicide and to end the lives of his wife and daughter “because he did not see them ready to be alone”.

With that, the oral hearing ended. On Monday next the subject of the sentence will be referred to the jury, and they will retire for deliberation.

“He killed them because they got in his way”

Before that, the prosecutor presented his final arguments. Mirren Goizardi Uranga, 56, and her daughter Paola, 24, were “sacrificed by a monster”, the prosecutor said in his final report during the final session of the trial that follows Abanto’s double crime. The defendant, Faustino Mendez, 62 today, “killed them in a brutal, bloody and insidious manner, without giving them any chance to defend themselves.”

The prosecutor’s representative presented Mirren to the jury as “a brilliant, self-sacrificing woman, an avid reader and a great cook, who suffered from this poisonous and silent scourge of gender-based violence.” Paola “had everything to live for, but they were visited by a monster she hadn’t even dreamed of in her worst nightmares.” They bled to death, according to the autopsy report, but he not only clubbed them over the head, but also cut their throats “in anger, malice and fury.” “How can you attack the lifeless body of your own daughter and try to decapitate her?” the prosecutor asked in his plea. “Evil exists and it has nothing to do with mental illness. Enough stigmatization of the mentally ill. He killed them because they got in his way.”

For the prosecution, which is seeking 47 years in prison for two counts of aggravated kinship and sex, in this case the defense’s requested sedative alcohol intoxication cannot be applied because Faustino “was a social drinker” but “No one ever seen drunk.” Nor the psychotic outburst because he reacted with “restraint” after the crimes. “He went all out and even bought the newspaper. Where is this reality shift? The prosecutor asked jurors “for the memory of the victims to ensure the future of this man behind bars for as long as possible”.

A hell

For the private prosecution lawyer representing the victims’ family, Joseba Estrade, the double murder deprived Mirren and Paola “of their voice and their version”, for which Faustino is the “only witness” and offers a “biased vision” of a marriage that in fact “it was hell”. He introduces himself as a “philosophical businessman who had to live with some dependents”, as the “savior” of “a blind, unemployed woman”. According to him, the accused presents a different image. “Calean uses eta tejana otso (in the street a dove and at home a wolf,” the lawyer recalled this Basque proverb. For Estrade, the double crime “is understood only in terms of gender.”

The lawyer was particularly scathing of the expert opinion presented by the Basauri prison psychiatrist, who said the defendant was suffering from “major depression with psychotic features”. Estrade believes that the jurors were “lucky enough to see the ‘qualitative ceiling’ presented by the judicial specialist in psychiatry of the Court of Biscay, who saw in the accused a ‘narcissistic’ personality and a tendency ‘towards a bad mood’ without reaching pathology and “the earth” where he places the other doctor. “He said absolutely unacceptable things. He was talking about crazy, such an inaccurate and hip term. He recalled that “he is not dedicated to assessing the sentence” as forensic scientists do, but to “treating prisoners” and accused him of a “lack of rigor”.

For her part, Ana Hernando, a lawyer from the Clara Campoamor association, clarified that the aggravating circumstance of gender-based violence that they claim does not refer to the fact that there was “mistreatment in the family environment. We don’t know if he hit her, we can’t prove it,” but to a “dominant situation.” The victims “he isolates socially and professionally” are “subject to him” and he “underestimates them, considers them disabled”. The manner of killing also reflects, according to the lawyer, that “he assimilated them to animals. He killed them as animals were killed

cup in hand

For state prosecutor Maria Mugica, the double crime is “an act that has its roots in evil.” Defense attorney Alberto Ruano asked jurors to choose between the two faces Faustino presented at trial, the protective man who “didn’t want them to suffer” or the controller who sought out the victims’ “helplessness.” He recalled that “in 30 years of relationship” there was only one episode of physical violence, “hitting the wall” and, according to him, “there is no evidence of his dominance.” Ruano confirmed that «psychopaths kill, but hide evidence, hide…» and Faustino «if he wanted to escape, he had 300 euros in his pockets, he would have taken a train». The lawyer argued that he suffered from alcoholism, was “always seen with a drink in his hand” and that he confessed to the crime in front of his sisters, two women and a doctor, for which he asked for three mitigating circumstances, he qualified for murder and reduced the sentence 16 years in prison.

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