HAZLETON -- History was made Friday in Luzerne County court. A man found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend is the first person sent back from Mexico to be found guilty of such a crime.
Friday was the first time Luzerne County prosecutors won a murder trial that involved an extradition from Mexico.
The trial ended Friday with a judge finding Oscar Lozano-Garcia guilty of first-degree murder.
Lozano-Garcia left the Luzerne County Courthouse after the verdict looking defeated. A judge found him guilty of strangling his ex-girlfriend, Maria Brea in December of 2012.
Lozano-Garcia then fled to Mexico but authorities found him in 2014 and brought him back to Luzerne County.
"It wasn’t easy at all,” said Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Daniel Zola.
It’s the first time Luzerne County prosecutors have won a first-degree murder case involving an extradition from Mexico.
Zola added, “If you commit a crime here, no matter, where you go, we’re going to find you, we’re going to bring you back, and we’re going to convict you."
Lozano-Garcia claims to only know Spanish, so we asked in his own language if he killed Maria Brea. He said nothing. But the victim's sisters call him a coward for trying to flee. "There’s no words for me to describe that my sister got justice, for my sister! God’s real, god bless you,” said Wendy DeJesus, Maria’s sister.
"There’s no words for me to describe that my sister got justice, for my sister! God’s real, god bless you,” said Wendy DeJesus, Maria’s sister.
Wendy Rodriguez is Maria's oldest sister. She’s now taking care of Maria’s daughter, who recently had a little girl of her own, and named her after Maria. She said, “He killed my sister, and he knows he did, but I’m glad the judge gave justice to us."
"He made sure his face was the last face my sister saw, and I hope he stays the rest of his life in prison,” added Santa Melencino, Maria’s sister
The first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence in Pennsylvania.
Lozano-Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced August 3rd.
A judge decided Friday morning that a man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and stashing her body in an attic in Hazleton is guilty of first-degree murder.
Police say the mother of two had been strangled.