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Wisconsin man accused of killing Colombian DJ girlfriend fires legal team again, delays trial

By Yukare Nakayama

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    MILWAUKEE (WDJT) — October 22, marked exactly nine months since Valentina Trespalacios was found dead in a suitcase. Her uncle spoke out after John Poulos, accused of murdering the young DJ, fired his lawyers yet again and delaying trial.

Poulos initially was not present in the court room Monday Oct. 23, claiming his lawyers told him he didn’t have to be.

“I thought this was just a procedural hearing and just as another, in past hearings my attorney said I didn’t need to attend,” said Poulos.

Poulos told the judge that he would like to be physically present for trail. He claims his lawyers did not act in accordance with the law. The judge ultimately granted the dismissal.

This isn’t the first time Poulos got rid of his lawyers or a translator. Carlos Trespalacios, uncle of the victim, believes this is a tactic Poulos is pulling to delay trial. “We see it as he’s making a joke out of the Colombian justice system. He’s trying to manipulate the justice system to avoid the trial,” said Trespalacios.

Before Poulos fired his attorneys, they argued against the femicide charge claiming the death of Trespalacios was negligent homicide on the basis that drugs and alcohol were present in the case.

Poulos could face up to 50 years in Colombian prison for alleged femicide.

Trespalacios’ body was found inside a suitcase thrown in a dumpster in January. Surveillance video showed Poulos leaving a room with a blue suitcase. That room he shared with his DJ girlfriend. Police said that suitcase contained the body of Trespalacios.

Carlos Trespalacios shared what justice would look like for his family.

“Nothing will bring Valentina back so what we want more than anything is that he pays for the crime he committed and how he committed it. Secondly, we want to set precedent to end femicide all over the world,” said Trespalacios.

Poulos is expected back in court in early December.

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