A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to eleven years in prison by the Court of Appeals on Thursday, June 24. The man was found guilty of killing fellow student Kavya Guda (24) on April 15, 2015.
Suspect Senad Cejvan, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina living in Missouri, United States, has always stated that he had nothing to do with the victim’s death. Similar to Guda, he also was a student at Saba University School of Medicine.
Thanks to the results of DNA research, the suspect’s involvement in this case was revealed in 2017. However, the Court of First Instance in Bonaire acquitted him of murder and manslaughter charges in December 2017.
The judge only found child-pornography charges proven as the defendant had no fewer than 706 pornographic images of sometimes very young children on his laptop computer. For this crime he received 12 months.
Cejvan was extradited from the US to Bonaire in January 2017. Based on the statements provided by the suspect and witnesses and on technical and forensic investigations, the judge in the Court of First Instance tried to reconstruct the final hours of the victim’s life.
Her lifeless and partially undressed body was found on a bed in her apartment on Clement Sorton Street in The Bottom. The woman’s arms were tied behind her back.
DNA investigations revealed that before her death the woman had had sex with two men: her friend and the defendant. The suspect claimed he had a secret sexual relationship with the victim, but this statement was not sustained by any witnesses.
An autopsy carried out on the victim’s body revealed that the woman was killed by strangulation. No traces of burglary or theft were found in her apartment. The judge in the Court of First Instance said in the verdict that it could not be ascertained whether the suspect and the victim had had consensual sex or not. It was “very well possible” that the suspect raped the victim and killed her afterward, but it could also not be excluded that the suspect had had some form of voluntary or involuntary erotic asphyxiation play which had run out of hand, as a result of which the woman had “inadvertently and unintentionally” lost her life.
Based on the facts and circumstances of this case the Court of First Instance could not establish “beyond any reasonable doubt” that the defendant had been involved in rape or homicide.
The Appeals Court reviewed and weighed the evidence again and ruled that sufficient evidence of Cejvan’s involvement had been provided.
The court did not believe the suspect’s story about a secret relationship with the victim, while he had also “demonstrably lied about other things,” the Joint Court of Justice said in a press release.
Cejvan was also found guilty of possession of a large amount of child pornography on his computer. In meting out a sentence, the court considered that the defendant had not only ended the life of a young victim, but also inflicted “great and irreversible grief” on her relatives. “In addition, the defendant’s denial and lying deeply frustrates the grieving family,” the court added.
The prosecutor previously demanded a prison sentence of eight years for culpable homicide and possession of child pornography. However, the Court of Appeals considered a prison sentence of 11 years to be appropriate.
The Daily Herald.