LA PAZ, Bolivia — A Bolivian jury has convicted a rancher of killing a pair of young French tourists in 2010 and sentenced him to the maximum of 30 years in prison without parole.
Prosecutors said Jaime Martinez first killed 23-year-old Fannie Blancho after inviting her to see his ranch in the small Amazon city of Guayaramerin and raping her. They say he killed her companion, 25-year-old Jeremie Bellanger, when he went looking for her and found out.
The tourists' bodies were never found. Defense attorney Audalia Zurita said the four-person jury declared Martinez's three alleged accomplices innocent and found him innocent of rape.
Bellanger's mother, Cecile Blanloeil, called the verdict a small victory. The young man's father, Patrick Bellanger, said he would seek retrials for the three men who were cleared.