‘Was high on drugs, can’t recall killing her’: US man John Poulos accused of murdering Colombian girlfriend

A man, accused of killing his girlfriend in January 2023, testified in a court in Bogota in Columbia that he didn’t remember strangling her as he was under the influence of drugs.

But, the man, John Poulos, 36, from Tennessee in the US, told the court on Wednesday that he remembers stuffing the woman’s body in a suitcase and throwing it in the garbage.

He told the court that he woke up next to Valentina Trespalacios, 23, a DJ from Colombia, on the bed, with a zip tie the couple had used as a sex toy tightened around her neck, as reported in CBS58.

John said that he tried to wake Valentina, but she didn’t respond.

“When I initially saw her, I knew right away that something was wrong. She was very pale,” John said.

“I just completely broke down. This was a girl that I loved,” he added.

John said that he and Valentina used to take drugs together and drink alcohol to wash them down. According to The New York Post, he claimed that consuming both alcohol and drugs together produced a bad reaction and impaired his judgement and memory on the night of the murder on January 22, 2023.

“I’d never done drugs before I met Valentina,” he said. “My guess is what happened, I was in a drug-induced, alcohol-inducedâ€æ I wasn’t completely lucid at that time, and I don’t know if I did it, I don’t know if she did it,” he told the court.

John admitted that he made the “horrible decision” to dispose his girlfriend’s body and run away, which he blamed on his panicked state.

He told the court not to send him to prison, claiming that he would likely “be killed there”.

John and Valentina met on a dating app in 2022, and he went to Colombia to meet and marry her after nine months, according to a report in The New York Post.

John was arrested in Panama while he was trying to board a flight to Turkey.

A homeless man from near Bogotá’s main airport had discovered the body and alerted the police about the incident.

According to a report in The City Paper Bogota, an autopsy found that Valentina had died from “mechanical asphyxia,” or “strangulation”.

If convicted, John could face up to 50 years in a Colombian prison.

Published By:

Ashutosh Acharya

Published On:

Mar 9, 2024

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