Puerto Rico Man Will Face Life in Prison for Killing a Federal Witness
Xavier Jiménez-Benceví, aka “Xavi,” 28, faces life in prison following his conviction of murdering Delia Sánchez-Sánchez, a federal witness on a drug trafficking case, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.
On April 30, 2013, Jiménez-Benceví was convicted of four counts of murder of a federal witness, possession of a firearm, attempted kidnapping and possession of a machine gun. According to court records and evidence at trial, on June 21, 2010, Jiménez-Benceví murdered a woman he believed was about to report his drug distribution activities to federal agents. He conspired with others to lure the woman, Delia Sánchez-Sánchez, to a public location, and then he fatally shot her.
The counts of conviction on capital murder charges necessitated a separate penalty phase of the trial, which began on May 1, 2013. Today, the jury announced it was unable to reach a unanimous sentencing verdict. As a result, a sentence of life in prison will be imposed on Aug. 6, 2013. The federal system does not have parole.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Puerto Rico Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys José Capó-Iriarte, Ilianys Rivera-Miranda and Luke V. Cass and Trial Attorney James Dennis Peterson of the Capital Case Unit of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.