Ann Patton on her new trial: ‘It is my opportunity to finally, hopefully, get true justice’


Ann Patton on her new trial: ‘It is my opportunity to finally, hopefully, get true justice’


Nearly nine months after a panel of Costa Rican judges found Ann Patton guilty of killing her wealthy U.S. husband in 2010 and sentenced her to 22 years in prison, she suddenly found herself a free woman on Thursday.

An appellate court judge in Cartago threw out the sentence against Patton and ordered her immediate release as the courts prepare for a third trial on the shooting death of her 44-year-old financier husband, John Felix Bender. Patton had been serving a nine-month preventive detention order in Costa Rica’s women’s prison, Buen Pastor, as the appeals court reviewed her case.

“I was told to get my stuff to together and I left the prison. I’m still in the same clothes I left in,” Patton told The Tico Times at the office of her attorney, Fabio Oconitrillo, hours after her release.

“I’m very grateful the appellate court made the right decision,” she said.

Alberto Font/The Tico Times


One of the few people Patton called when she was released Thursday was her 97-year-old grandmother. “She’s waiting for me,” Patton said, small and thin as she spoke sitting down behind a large wooden table in Oconitrillo’s office.

Patton is staying with her brother, Kenneth, in a condo near Guachipelín, southwest of the Costa Rican capital.

“My only comment is that my sister did not murder her husband,” Kenneth Patton told The Tico Times.

While Ann Patton was released and the previous sentence thrown out, her legal battle is far from over. The court ordered her to surrender her passport, and she cannot leave Costa Rica. She also must sign in weekly with the nearest prosecutor’s office. The Cartago appellate judge ordered another trial – the third Patton will have faced for allegedly shooting her husband to death. There is no double — or triple — jeopardy in Costa Rica.

“What was keeping me going for the last nine months was surviving and getting out. I did. Now I need to see what I do next. One thing I’ve learned in the last five years is not to plan too far in advance,” Patton said.

Alberto Font/The Tico Times


Patton and family members – and friends of her late husband – have maintained her innocence in the shooting death of her husband, which occurred at the couple’s luxury jungle estate in Florida de Barú, Pérez Zeledón, in southern Costa Rica. The couple moved to Costa Rica in 2000 to found a reserve for injured and endangered animals. There, the eccentric couple built a circular glass-walled mansion on the 9.65-square-mile property they named Boracayán.

But their idyllic lifestyle soon started to fall apart. Patton contracted chronic Lyme disease that wasted away her body and left her walking with a cane. Bender was known to suffer bouts of depression. After an attempted kidnapping plot against them involving local police officers, the couple became reclusive and Bender began to collect guns.

On Jan. 8, 2010, police answered a call to find Bender dead in the couple’s bed with a gunshot wound in his neck.

Patton was acquitted in her first trial in 2013, but an appellate court ordered a retrial that was held in May 2014. Patton called her second trial a “travesty” where officers of the law allegedly perjured themselves and police tampered with evidence during what she and her lawyer say was a bungled investigation. Oconitrillo said that they could prove that investigators moved evidence that in turn implicated Patton as the shooter instead of her husband.

“This second trial was a show put on by the Prosecutor’s Office, and unfortunately, the judges on the panel fell for it,” Oconitrillo said.

Ann Bender speaks with reporters on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Earlier in the day, a Costa Rican appellate court ordered her release from prison.

The Tico Times


Oconitrillo told The Tico Times that they were hopeful about the upcoming case. No date has been set as of this writing. The lawyer said that while he has not yet seen the final court documents, the judge’s decision to immediately release Patton promised strong criticisms of how the police and prosecutors conducted themselves in the case.

The lawyer said that they would still have to face a third trial, but he was hopeful after the first trial ended in an acquittal and the second’s guilty verdict was thrown out.

Patton said that she was not looking forward to the third trial, but saw it as a way to conclusively prove her innocence. “It is my opportunity to finally, hopefully, get true justice,” she said.

Along with the coming trial, Patton said that one of her first priorities was getting her health back under control. Estimating her health as between “poor and lousy,” Patton said that prison was the worse place for someone in her condition. Patton said she was hospitalized just last week.

Despite the difficult conditions at the Buen Pastor prison, Patton said that the staff there treated her kindly and “bent over backwards” to accommodate her, including granting her a cane to walk with, which is against regulations.

Patton mustered a smile to joke that she was ready to take a shower first thing when she got home.

“I’m relieved to be out. I’m relieved to be alive,” Patton said. “Tomorrow is another day.”


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The Day After Festival 2015 In Panama City, Panama


Thousands from across the world will descend along the beautiful shores of Panamá for the return of The Day After Festival. Join ShowPro and Disco Donnie Presents once again for Latin America’s #1 destination festival in Panama City on January 16-18, 2015.

This is the third year that the festival has come to Panama City, which includes some of the world’s top DJs. It will take place over three days at Figali Convention Center.

Featuring the exclusive premier of the TDA official anthem:
Michael Brun & DubVision ft. Tom Cane – “Sun In Your Eyes”.

Tickets On-Sale Now at

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PARADISE FISHING LODGE, September 2014 Panama Fishing Report



The Last couple weeks has been good. We did start to get a few nice tuna, but there still not here in full forcé. The marlín bite was great for a couple weeks, but that slowed down a bit over the last week. we have had very good luck around the islands and have caught plenty of big roosters and snapper along with many other types of fish.

I have made a bit of progress on expanding my marina, my permission finally came out for me to build a gas station. I hope to start building in the next month. We will be selling Gas to Boats from the end of our dock and also cars and trucks that pass on the road.

Hope to see you here this year for the Best and the Biggest Fishing in Panama and all of Central America.

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Chirashi Bowl Sushi, Made by Jack Miller

The word “Chirashi” in Japanese means scattered. Order a Chirashi bowl at your local Japanese restaurant and you’ll be handed a bowl of seasoned rice topped with scattered slices of raw fish, fish roe, and/or the occasional tamagoyaki, a spongy egg garnish. It’s the ideal option for sushi fiends who don’t want to order a la carte or dish out the big bucks for a sashimi platter.

Chirshi Bowl Sushi

The mark of a good Chirashi bowl is balance. Each grain should be evenly seasoned with the tangy, alkaline sweetness of rice vinegar. Sesame seeds are often sprinkled on top for good measure. Different types of fresh fish are layered on top – bonus points for textural diversity. Garnishes are optional additions and always provide welcome respite.

Chirshi Bowl Sushi

The box comes empty and this one I bought on sale for $9.99

Chirshi Bowl Sushi
Surprise, the box is a Double Decker, more Sushi for me.

Chirshi Bowl Sushi


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Minimum 10 Person sit-down.

Higher Prices Charged, for Beverly Hills, Malibu and the South Bay

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Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro proves to the World that he can Lie Just As Good as Hugo Chavez

12/08/2014 5:53 PM

12/08/2014 5:53 PM

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It happened. Engineer María Corina Machado was formally accused of the attempted assassination of a ruling leader and of conspiring against Venezuela by means of a sinister coup d’état.

“Proof” of the attempted assassination consisted of false e-mails sent by the Internet. They were fabricated by President Nicolás Maduro’s police. Google corroborated the fraud. It was an exceptionally clumsy fakery.

So what? Maduro and his cronies are not bothered by being caught in the act of lying. They don’t even take the trouble to rectify or excuse their actions. As in 1984, Orwell’s novel, the regime has an omnipotent Ministry of Truth and in its “newspeak” it writes and rewrites history without the slightest shame.

Victims and victimizers exchange roles with a snap of the fingers.

This manipulation began with the 1992 version of a military coup. Magically, the late Hugo Chávez, who plotted the coup, turned into the hero and democratically elected President Carlos Andrés Pérez into the criminal.

Lying knows no bounds. Didn’t Chávez say that the earthquake that destroyed Haiti was caused by a secret Pentagon weapon used by imperialism to seize that Caribbean country?

That’s the essence of totalitarianism: regimes that seize the truth and wring its neck.

They say or deny whatever they please. Chavists are only interested in the stories they tell.

They make up a story and disseminate it, and whoever denies it is a counter-revolutionary in the service of the CIA, persecuted by the courts of (in)justice and the toga-clad arm of the victorious revolution.

Nevertheless, formally, Venezuela is a liberal democracy, with individual freedoms, human and civil rights, political parties, separation of powers, private property and periodic elections. That’s stated in the nation’s Constitution, promulgated with great fanfare in 1999.

The reality is that Venezuela is a disguised dictatorship, thoroughly corrupt, governed by a clique willing to kill to avoid losing power, guided and controlled from Havana by two old communists intent on bleeding their rich oil colony down to the last drop.

Why are they now staging that clumsy maneuver against María Corina? Because the movement founded by Chávez and led today by Maduro aims to crush any Venezuelan capable of uniting the majority of the people against them, and because terror and intimidation are the key tools to induce obedience.

That is why they imprisoned opposition leaders Leopoldo López, Daniel Ceballos and Enzo Scarano, while keeping Manuel Rosales in exile. That is why, at one point, Henrique Capriles, a one-time opposition presidential candidate, ended up in a cell.

Just as guilty as these jailers, albeit to a lesser degree, are their accomplices. Are Latin American presidents Cristina Kirchner, José Mujica and Dilma Rousseff, Venezuela’s Mercosur partners, aware of the filthy sewer that Venezuela has become?

Doesn’t it bother Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (as it didn’t bother his predecessor, Rodríguez Zapatero) that he sells arms to military officers led by generals accused of drug trafficking, knowing that they will be used to repress the Venezuelan people?

Do the European, Latin American, Asian, U.S., Chinese and Russian businessmen think that they have a moral blank check that allows them to do shady deals with the Venezuelan government without dirtying their hands and to pay big bribes without realizing that the crimes committed by their hosts stain them?

When someone gets in bed with the Mafia or the riff-raff, he is responsible, to some degree, of what the Mafia or the riff-raff do.

The list of accomplices is long and grim, but those who appear on it — even though they don’t appear in this article for reasons of space — should realize that the imprisoned, persecuted or exiled Venezuelans know that the old Spanish saying is painfully true: “As guilty as the rustler who kills the cow is the man who binds its legs.”

The accomplices are no different from the jailers. They’re also guilty.

Read more here:

Honda Motorcycles, have sold 300 Million since 1949

Honda Motor Co. has hit a milestone: its 300-millionth motorcycle.

By Charles Fleming contract reported for the L.A. Times Jack Miller of Venice California

I am Jack and I bought my first Honda Motorcycle when I was 15 Honda 250 cc Scrambler, That first year they only came in one collar silver and I was off to the races. The outlaw was born. That year I learned how to do Wheel Stands and ride my bike through the administration building at University High School one of the many high schools I attended in Los Angeles. I ran away on the bike several times and with the help of Alcohol and Mary Jane I managed to end up the custody of Juvenal Authorities till I was 18. Anyways Honda was part of my life and so was Harley Davidson.

This was my first motorcycle a Honda 250

This was my first motorcycle a Honda 250

The milestone vehicle, a 40th anniversary edition of the company’s flagship Gold Wing touring bike, was produced at Honda’s Kumamoto factory in Japan.

This was Honda's first production Motorcycle in 1949

This was Honda’s first production Motorcycle in 1949

Honda’s first two-wheeled machine was the 1949 Dream Type D, a single-cylinder, two-stroke, 100cc that featured a then-unusual semi-automatic clutch.

Almost a decade later, the company introduced the Honda 50, aka the Super Cub, and began its conquest of the U.S. It was the cornerstone of the “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda” ad campaign of the 1960s. Honda sold 90 million of the small bikes.

Honda 50 Super Cub

Honda 50 Super Cub

The company began its first overseas production in Belgium in 1963. Today, Honda builds bikes at 32 plants in 22 countries.

Honda passed the 100-million mark in 1997.


Bill Silver, a Honda historian and author of “Classic Honda Motorcycles” and “History of the Honda Scrambler,” believes the company’s resilience is the result of founder Soichiro Honda’s obsession with building bikes that were well-engineered, safe and reliable — and, above all, convenient.

Indeed, Silver points out, one of the company’s early machines was called a Benly — an Americanized version of the Japanese word “benri,” which means “convenient.”

He was obsessed with the quality of materials and the quality of the manufacturing process,” the San Diego-based Silver said. “Honda never quit improving the product.”

This is me Jack Miller on a Chromed Out Widegulide Harley Davidson, The fastest bike in Harley Davidson in Costa Rica

This is me Jack Miller on a Chromed Out Widegulide Harley Davidson, The fastest Harley Davidson in Costa Rica

The Truth comes out, All those accusations by Republicans about Benghazi was a Pack of Shit and a Bunch of Lies

Most People Have No Idea What A House Benghazi Investigation Just Found

When the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee quietly released a report on the Friday before Thanksgiving clearing U.S. officials of multiple accusations leveled after the 2012 Benghazi attacks, it didn’t exactly capture the public’s attention.

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

Liar, Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

Eighty-four percent of Americans said they had heard little or nothing about the report’s release, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

Just 28 percent knew the investigation didn’t find evidence of intelligence failures before the attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, or wrongdoing in officials’ response to the attacks. A nearly equal 25 percent thought the report found wrongdoing. The remaining 47 percent weren’t sure.


Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

Republicans turn on each other over Benghazi conspiracy theories
12/05/14 04:53 PM

By Steve Benen

Once the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee issued its report on the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, there was a sense of finality to the process. GOP lawmakers on the panel themselves described the findings as “definitive.”


Every possible question has been answered. Every conspiracy theory has been discredited. Every wild-eyed allegation has been proven false. Every House committee, every Senate committee, every State Department investigator, and every inquiry launched by independent news organizations have reached the exact same conclusion. There’s a general feeling, even among many Republicans, that it’s time to just move on.

Lair, Lair, Liar

Lair, Lair, Liar


But that’s not going to happen. Not only is the House on track to spend at last another $1.5 million – of our money – Added to almost 10 billion paid paid for overtime to committee members like Michelle Bachmann on yet another committee, but many GOP lawmakers have decided to reject the findings of their fellow GOP lawmakers.
Some of the loudest torch-and-pitchfork wielding Benghazi investigation enthusiasts weren’t satisfied. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on CNN he thought the report “is full of crap” and that the House Intelligence Committee had done a “lousy job of policing their own.”

On the Intelligence Committee and a Lair, Lair, Lair

On the Intelligence Committee and a Lair, Lair, Lair

“I’m saying that anybody who has followed Benghazi at all knows that the CIA deputy director did not come forward to tell Congress what role he played in changing the talking points,” Graham said. “And the only way we knew he was involved is when he told a representative at the White House, I’m going to do a hard review of this, a hard rewrite.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) agreed, telling the Salt Lake Tribune that Graham “is probably right.”
He’s really not.

Lair, Lair, Lair

Lair, Lair, Lair

And while it’s certainly interesting to see Graham and Chaffetz reject the exhaustive findings prepared by their colleagues from their own party, no one seems quite as hostile to the evidence as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), arguably Congress’ most zealous conspiracy theorist.

The Kentucky Republican wrote an op-ed for a right-wing website this week, and I hope readers will take a moment to appreciate Rand Paul’s approach to logic in all its glory.
The Associated Press claims the report debunks, “A series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.”

None of these accusations contain even a modicum of truth?
It’s important to appreciate Paul’s intellectual rigor: there are lots of allegations, and even though the evidence proves the allegations false, maybe, since there are so many of them, one of them is a little true?

As Simon Maloy noted, the Republican senator proceeded to suggest his own GOP allies may be “helping the Obama administration cover-up the truth about Benghazi.”

That’s right, it’s come to this: Republicans have uncovered a conspiracy so vast, it involves Republicans who went looking for evidence of a conspiracy.

I get the feeling that the Beltway media considers Rand Paul so “interesting” that his antics, no matter how ridiculous, simply cannot be disqualifying. But that’s a shame – his approach to Benghazi is itself a cringe-worthy embarrassment.

The MaddowBlog, Benghazi, Conspiracy Theories, Jason Chaffetz, Lindsey Graham, Middle East, National Security, Rand Paul and Terrorism
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Latin American Parties Union Condemned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for fileing false charges against María Corina Machado the Next President of Venezuela

Latin American Parties Union condemned false charges against María Corina Machado

In a statement signed by the president of the UPLA, former Salvadoran president Armando Calderón Sol, stated that these maneuvers are seeking to divert attention from the economic crisis in Venezuela


EL UNIVERSAL News Venezuela Reported Thursday December 4, 2014 2:14 PM
San Salvador.- The Union of Latin American Parties (LAUP) condemned the imputation of the Venezuelan opposition María Corina Machado for “conspiracy” and called on the international community to “actively involved” in defending human rights in Venezuela.

In a statement signed by the president of the UPLA, Salvadoran expresident Armando Calderón Sol (1994-1999), the organization denounces the “abuses of which is attack and accuse María Corina Machado of trying to kill Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro , , which constitute a clear abuse of power and arbitrary use of Venezuelan legislation to intimidate and undermine the political opposition in that country, “Armando Calderón Sol said. The prosecution charged Wednesday with conspiracy Machado, punishable by eight to 16 years in prison in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

“These maneuvers are only intended to cover the grave economic and institutional crisis in the country, while seeking to intimidate other opposition leaders who want to speak out against abuses of the oppression parties in Venezuela”

Armando Calderón Sol added this statement as he urged “the international community to be actively involved in this and other cases of violations of human and political rights that are being committed in Venezuela constantly.

” The political organization reiterated its “commitment” “with the absolute respect for the rule of law, due process, the Constitution and other laws that provide the legal framework and allow peaceful coexistence of truly democratic countries “.

María Corina Machado the next President of Venezuela

Deputy to the National Assembly of Venezuela María Corina Machado says: “Now what is coming is the transition to democracy in peace and prosperity “

María Corina Machado the next President of A Free and Respected Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro represents chaos and the past, says Maria Corina Machado

Translated to english by Panama Jack Editor of the Panama Visitors Guide

The leading Presidential Candidate for President of Venezuela thanked students, trustees, members, political leaders and churches “for their support and understanding, despite his anguish”

The Next President of Venezuela

(Caracas. 12/04/2014) After being charged for the crime of “conspiracy”, Deputy to the National Assembly of Venezuela María Corina Machado at noon announced Thursday that “now comes is the transition to democracy in peace. ” To do this, she said, the resignation of Nicolas Maduro is a must.

“Now what is coming is the transition to democracy and peace. And this conviction was strengthened yesterday when I was sitting at the court that follows instructions from Havana made by Miraflores, in order to crush the Venezuelan people, “She said at a press conference at the headquarters of the political movement led, Vente Venezuela.

Maria Corina Machado

“Maduro and his regime are defeated. At the time, President Chavez managed to sell several myths, including two: inward the country, Venezuelans, that his departure would represent a return to the past and out to the international community that his departure would represent chaos. Nicolas Maduro has been commissioned to demolish both myths, because Maduro is chaos and is the past, “explained the opposition leader María Corina Machado.

According to Machado, Nicolas Maduro represents chaos, since the country is plunged into lawlessness. “The violence is unleashed: the two murders of Thursday, there are more than 200 policemen killed this year in Caracas, Aragua and Carabobo. Salaries are at a poverty level, the Venezuelan minimum monthly wage is less than $ 35: That is one dollar a day when Venezuela has just experienced the largest oil boom in our history “, Where did the money disappear to? And why don’t the people of Venezuela get to share in the wealth that has come from oil.

Thus, Maduro is also the past, because it is directly responsible for this tragedy and destruction of 15 years. “The vast majority of the country wants a deep and urgent change, and knows that Maduro neither wants nor can switch to an economy that shares with the Venezuelan people.

María Corina Machado thanked the students, union leaders, fellow parliamentarians, political leaders, churches (especially the Cardinal Urosa), “for their support and understanding, despite his anguish” .

“The regime believed that the repression and persecution would divide the people of Venezuela. But yesterday the people demonstrated that these attacks only unite and strengthen democratic forces. I thank the Venezuelan people, citizens, their support and confidence in this hour, “She explained.

María Corina Machado confirmed that her only option is to fight. “I do not give if none is given,” She said. She called on all Venezuelans to fight civilly and peacefully because the transition to democracy is already underway.


At the press conference, attorney Thomas Arias explained the legal process that lies María Corina Machado. He said that is a recurring practice of Public Prosecutions is to have open political dissent investigations, “to shut in the complaint against the regime. In the case of María Corina is clear that she will not give up “.

Tomás Arias also said Wednesday, the defense asked the Public Ministry Machado a series of steps to demonstrate the falsity of the allegations against Machado. First, evidence of Google, to report that with which the deputy is linked are completely false.

Most of the headlines coming out of Venezuela have to do with the country’s precarious economic situation, largely the result of plunging oil prices. But it should be remembered that there is an intense political struggle going on within the country as well — one that has the power to destabilize it entirely.

Here’s a reminder: Opposition leader Maria Corina Machado has been accused of treason and trying to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro. It is a crime punishable by 8-16 years in prison.

A former legislator, Machado rose to prominence as an opposition leader at the beginning of the year, when political strife rocked Venezuela and hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in the streets.

At that time, former Mayor Leopoldo Lopez was the opposition figure who had the world’s attention. The Harvard-educated activist turned himself in to Maduro’s administration in February to cool tensions, and has been in prison ever since. According to reports, his prison guards throw excrement against his jail cell.

Lopez’s absence left an opening that Machado and a number of opposition leaders have been trying to fill, but since this spring, the government has been better at quelling dissent.

Enter the slide in oil prices. Oil makes up 95% of Venezuela’s exports and over 60% of the country’s revenue. As the price of the commodity plummeted, traders told Business Insider that default was the only possible ending.

Venezuela lobbied its OPEC peers hard for a slowdown in oil production to prop up the price, but to no avail. Now it’s burning through cash at an alarming rate — some of which was loaned to Venezuela by the Chinese in exchange for oil.

Something has to give. The country has been spending more money than it brings in for years in an attempt to maintain social programs that date back to the administration of President Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013. Its fiscal deficit is at 17% of annual economic output.

Another drain on the economy is Venezuela’s Petrocaribe program, which “sells” oil to the country’s Caribbean and Latin American allies at stunningly low rates. The country’s foreign minister has promised that the program will continue as is. Nonetheless, Venezuela sold some debt the Dominican Republic owes it to Goldman Sachs, according to Bloomberg, so even some of those agreements may be subject to change.

What all this means taken together is simply that Maduro is under an insane amount of pressure. His approval rating is at an all-time low of 24.5%, according to the Wall Street Journal. We can expect more desperate moves — more finger pointing, more scapegoating — to come along with more dissent. And it won’t be pretty.

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