Fame, drug dealers, jealousy, hit men, corruption, nightclubs and even a former CIA agent…he has the whole cocktail of the failed assassination attempt on former baseball star David Ortiz, which ended with harsh prison terms.
Ortiz, 47, a baseball Hall of Famer, was shot in the back on June 9, 2019 at a nightclub in Santo Domingo. Ten of the 13 defendants for this attack received sentences of between 5 and 30 years in prison at a hearing held on Monday night in the Dominican capital.
The prosecution reported Tuesday that two of the defendants (Eddy Féliz, aka El Nata, 26, and Rolfi Ferreras Cruz, aka Sandy, 27) received sentences of 30 years in prison “For his direct participation in the assassination attempt.”
“Ferreras Cruz was the person who seriously injured Ortiz and injured one of his companions,” the text indicated.
Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota28, sentenced for paying the hitmen $10,000, will serve 20 years behind bars.
Three defendants were acquitted for the attack on Ortiz. Those convicted will serve their sentences in the La Victoria prison in Santo Domingo Norte and will have to pay a fine of almost 900,000 dollars.
– “He became more jealous” –
Ortiz, an icon of the Boston Red Sox, a team with which he played 14 seasons and won three World Series, was treated in that American city after the attack.
was subjected to four surgeries and was in intensive care.
The Dominican authorities dismissed in principle that Ortiz was the target of the attack and considered that the shot was directed at a friend of the player, the merchant Sixto Fernández, according to the then prosecutor Jean Rodríguez, today arrested for administrative corruption in a case unrelated to this incident.
The Hall of Fame did not buy that theory and, concerned about the integrity of the investigation, commissioned former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis in 2019 with an independent inquiry.
“My team spent (six) months investigating the circumstances of the shooting” against Ortiz, Davis, who also worked with a former senior US intelligence (CIA) agent, Ric Prado, wrote on Twitter.
The Boston Globe newspaper published part of its conclusions in March, which pointed to drug trafficker César “El Abusador” Peralta as the intellectual author of the attack for allegedly feeling “disrespected” by the baseball player.
The newspaper noted that as Ortiz became the “center of attention” at nightclubs owned by Peralta, “the more jealous he became,” according to the Globe. Both greeted each other and came to take photos, although the player denies that there was a friendship.
Peralta, who denies ordering the attack, is being held in Puerto Rico, where he pleaded guilty in November to drug trafficking and faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Big Papi said, quoted by the newspaper, that he was “sad, confused, upset… all kinds of emotions” for the details of the investigation.
AFP contacted Ortiz’s communications team for a comment, with no response so far.
The prosecutor’s office reported at the time that it requested the report, but it is not clear if it was received and incorporated into the process.
– “I forgave them” –
“I I am a man of GodI forgave those boys a long time ago,” Ortiz said during the trial a week ago, according to the media.
The baseball player, father of three children, is an icon of the Red Sox, where he works as a consultant.
A home run from him led the way to the team-winning World Series in 2004, which broke the 89-year-old “Curse of the Bambino.”
He hit .286 with 2,472 hits in a 20-year career in the Majors (1997-2016), 541 home runs and 1,768 RBIs, a brilliant career crowned with three World Series championships, all with Boston: 2007 and 2013, in addition to 2004.
In January, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) elected him to the Cooperstown Hall of Fame with 77.9% of the vote in his first appearance on the ballot.