A woman convicted in 2014 of murdering her husband in their extravagant Costa Rican home, and who lived at the center of suspicion since she was released, is now publicly claiming that John Bender actually killed himself.
As the Daily Mail reported, Ann Patton’s conviction was tossed out after she had served nine months of her sentence behind bars in El Buen Pastor.
Patton is now set to stand trial again, for the fourth time, on charges related to the 2010 death. She was acquitted after two previous trials.
She received her passport in 2015 and left Costa Rica. Less than two years later, however, a new trial was announced with three judges impaneled with the power to overturn those acquittals.
Throughout the process, Patton has insisted that Bender killed himself after a long bout with depression. She claimed that the gun he was holding went off as she attempted to wrestle it away from him.
“I wish I were f—ing dead,” he allegedly wrote in a journal shortly before his death. “I feel so f—ing horrible. I want to kill everyone and then myself.”
In a 2015 interview with CBS’ “48 Hours,” Patton called her husband the “most tortured person” she had ever met.
“He had been wanting to kill himself for weeks,” she said. “He became … suicidally depressed. He wanted to die.”
Prosecutors have attempted to poke holes in her story, claiming that the trajectory of Bender’s wound is inconsistent with a self-inflicted gunshot.
Patton said she looks forward to clearing her name once and for all.
“My hope is that the verdict will be strong enough so that an appeal cannot be written or won’t be accepted and that it can end now and John can finally rest,” she said.