John Poulos tries to nullify Colombian DJ murder accusation in latest court appearance

NOW: John Poulos tries to nullify Colombian DJ murder accusation in latest court appearance

BOGOTA, Colombia -- The Franklin, Wisconsin native who is accused of killing his girlfriend in Colombia and trying to escape overseas was back in court April 17, aiming to nullify the case on procedural issues.

John Poulos is accused of killing Valentina Trespalacios, his girlfriend and a Colombian DJ, earlier this year. Officials say Poulos strangled Trespalacios, stuffed her body in a suitcase, disposed of her body in a dumpster and attempted to escape by trying to fly overseas.

Poulos was arrested by Panamanian authorities and then handed over to Colombian officials.

A trial was expected to get underway this week, but defense lawyers for Poulos motioned for the judge to nullify the case, claiming Poulos received inadequate translation while in custody and during his first court appearances. Among the argument was the claim that because the charge of femicide does not exist in Poulos' home state of Wisconsin, he needed adequate translation and explanation for him to understand the accusation before him. Poulos' lawyers say authorities failed to do that.

But prosecutors fought back saying accusations against Poulos were communicated to him in English and Poulos had not raised concerns about translations until later.

The judge will decide whether to nullify the case or move ahead with the trial on April 27.

Meanwhile, court records in Wisconsin show a Milwaukee County judge granted a divorce in late March between John Poulos and his ex-wife after considering Poulos' current status in Colombia and determining the marriage to be irretrievably broken. The divorce was filed in January of 2021.

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