Shooter and nine others are convicted over the June 2019 Dominican Republic murder-for-hire plot that nearly took the life of MLB legend
Baseball hall of famer David Ortiz was shot in the back sitting in a Santo Domingo bar with friends on June 9 leaving the legendary former Red Sox slugger with severe injuries
13 people were arrested on charges related to association of criminals, use of illegal firearms, attempted murder and complicity Om Monday Dec. 26, 10 suspects were convicted and sentenced
However, three suspects were acquitted for insufficient evidence including the alleged mastermind, Victor Hugo Gomez Vasquez
The shooter Rolfi Ferreyra Cruz, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the First Collegiate Court of Santo Domingo
The get away drive,r Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, also received a 30-year sentence
Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mot, 28, who prosecutors said “paid those who carried out the act,” was sentenced to 20 years in prison
Seven other convicted individuals have been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison, with most ranging between five and nine years
Those convicted have also been ordered to pay 50 million pesos in compensation for damages
Ten of the thirteen people accused of attempting to murder David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz in the Dominican Republic on June 9, 2019 were convicted in a Santo Domingo courtroom on Monday, December 26. However, the fugitive drug dealer who allegedly organized the murder-for-hire plot was acquitted.
Trigger man Rolfi Ferreyra Cruz, who is accused of shooting the Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer at a Santo Domingo nightclub, and his get away driver Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia were both sentenced to 30 years in prison, by the First Collegiate Court of Santo Domingo.
28-year-old Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mot, who prosecutors said “paid those who carried out the act,” was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The other seven convicted individuals have been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison, with most ranging between five and nine years. The related charges include association of criminals, use of illegal firearms, attempted murder and complicity.
Oliver Moisés Mirabal, 28, and Eduardo Ciprián Lebrón, 24, were sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Gabriel Alexander Pérez Vizcaíno, 31, and Joel Rodríguez de la Cruz, 28, were sentenced to nine and six years, respectively.
Franklin Junior Merán, 26, Junior César La Hoz Vargas, 28, and Porfirio Ayendi Dechamps Vásquez, 29, got five-year sentences each.
Those convicted have also been ordered to pay 50 million pesos in compensation for damages.
Three defendants were acquitted due to insufficient evidence, including Victor Hugo Gomez Vasquez, who is accused of being the master mind of the assassination plot.
Ortiz was shot in the back at near point-blank range while having drinks with friends, including local TV host Jhoel Lopez.
Police first arrested Eddy Feliz Garcia, Cruz’s get away driver, who was chased down at the bar by a crowd of Ortiz’s supporters and beaten relentlessly until officers arrived.
Following the shooting, Dominican Republic Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez claimed Gómez organized the hit, but the intended target was Sixto David Fernandez, a friend of David Ortiz’.
Ortiz and television host Jhoel Lopez were the only two individuals injured in the attack.
On June 12, 2019 the Dominican Republic National Police published a collage of photographs showing suspects in connection with the shooting of former Red Sox star David Ortiz in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The list of suspects included Rolfy Ferreyra, who had been identified as the shooter, Joel Rodriguez Cruz, Oliver Moises Mirabal Acosta, and Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia. Others also identified included, Polfirio Allende Dechamps Vazquez, Luis Alfredo Rivas Clase and Reynaldo Rodriguez Valenzuela.
All the men with the exception of Rivas Clase, were immediately detained.
The plan, according to Dominican authorities, was to target Sixto David Fernandez on June 9, 2019. But Fernandez was seated at a table with Ortiz and the shooters confused the two.
A three-judge panel agreed that the shooters targeted Sixto Fernández, but a motive was not established.
As a result, Ortiz spent six weeks in a Boston hospital and required three surgeries, including one to remove his gallbladder.
Speaking with Diario Libre, one of the country’s leading newspapers, Ortiz did not seem angry with the convicted defendants.
‘Life sends you messages in such strange ways that everything becomes a learning experience,’ Ortiz said. ‘Life changed me but to improve things… although nobody wanted that to happen to them, but I am one of the people who always take the positive out of everything negative.
I hope that these young people learn from their mistakes and it becomes clear to them that the path they took is not correct and that is why justice punishes them.
‘As I said before, I forgave them and healed both physically and mentally and that is the best option.’
The full sentences will be read on February 8.
A year ago, Ortiz was voted for enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Ortiz, 46, received 77.9 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of American (BBWAA) in his first year on the ballot – slightly above the requisite 75 percent to earn induction.
Big Papi was among baseball’s most recognizable faces through the 2000s and 2010s. His enormous grin endeared him to fans, but the Dominican’s hulking frame menaced pitchers, especially in the late innings. He had 23 game-ending hits, including three during the 2004 postseason while Boston ended an 86-year World Series drought.
Ortiz batted .286 with 541 home runs with Boston and Minnesota while making 88 percent of his plate appearances as a designated hitter, the most by anyone in the Hall.
The three-time World Series winner has remained in public view in retirement as a studio analyst for Fox Sports’ postseason coverage.
He was briefly sidelined after the 2019 shooting, but returned to the air during the postseason four months later.
Dominican authorities said the full sentence will be read Feb. 8, 2023.