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US citizen charged over alleged killing of DJ in Colombia

By Elizabeth Plaza, Fernando Ramos and Heather Chen, CNN

Colombian authorities have charged an American citizen over the alleged murder of a female DJ in Colombia whose body was discovered inside a suitcase at the bottom of a garbage container.

John Poulos was arrested and detained at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama on Tuesday while trying to leave for Istanbul, the Panamanian National Police said.

During a televised court hearing in Bogota, lasting more than five hours, Poulos spoke through a translator to deny the charges, which relate to the death of Valentina Trespalacios, 23, a well-known electronic music DJ.

Trespalacios’ body was found by a recycler in the early hours of January 22 in a garbage container in the southwest of Bogota.

In a previous hearing on Thursday, the court heard details of a relationship between Trespalacios and Poulos.

Poulos’s defense alleged that there were flaws in his arrest and that due process had not been respected.

The Colombian Prosecutor’s Office and police say they have more than 300 hours of security footage in which Poulos and Trespalacios are seen in the days before her body was found.

Another hearing is set for January 31.

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