Randall Garita Oviedo was sentenced to 35 years in prison for the 2019 murder of Eva Morera Ulloa, a criminal court ruled Tuesday.
“Unanimously, Randall Garita is declared responsible for the crime of qualified homicide, in addition to the crime of disobedience and violation of the law of weapons, possession and illegal possession of weapons allowed to the detriment of Eva,” said Judge Chávez Alvarado.
Eva Morera, 19, was killed in November 2019 in Barva de Heredia. Garita, now 26, was her ex-boyfriend and was arrested shortly thereafter as the primary suspect.
News of the femicide spread quickly throughout Costa Rica. Not only was Morera still a student, the daily La Nación reported, but she was a young mother and had been an advocate calling on Costa Rica to remember previous victims of gender violence.
In December 2018, reflecting on what had been a dangerous year for women in Costa Rica, she published a now widely shared post on Facebook:
“Today, I have taken the time to think about the wave of femicides that have happened this year; 2018 is about to end and 24 women have died at the hands of men, how many more are left to die in these 26 days remaining of the year?” she wrote.
Morera hoped to “find a solution to this wave of femicides” and believed it would require contributions from everyone.
She closed with a message of solidarity for victims.
“If you are being attacked right now: Here I am,” she wrote. “I will be your friend, I will be your companion so you can get out of this hell, I will be there giving all of me to you!”
In 2018, the Costa Rican government declared that reducing violence against women was “a national priority.”
The prosecution had reportedly requested a 42-year prison sentence for Garita, arguing that he had previously been verbally and physically abusive during his relationship with Morera.
Report situations of gender violence in Costa Rica to 9-1-1. INAMU also offers legal advice, psychological support and other services for women facing situations of violence.