Cristobal Palacio guilty of Miami murder of Paul Winter
- 4 August 2012
- From the section Kent
A man has been convicted by a US jury of murdering his ex-wife's husband, who was shot in front of his family.
Cristobal Palacio, 46, was found guilty of the second degree murder of Paul Winter, 42, originally from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in October 2008.
Mr Winter died in front of his wife Jennifer and her twins at Palacio's home in Kendall, Miami, Florida.
At Miami's Gerstein Justice Building, Palacio had denied murder, claiming the shooting had been self defence.
Palacio, who was charged with the more serious count of first degree murder, told the jury that on two occasions Mr Winter had threatened him with a gun.
Jurors decided to convict Palacio of the lesser murder charge. Under Florida law, second degree murder carries a sentence of a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of a life sentence without parole.
Palacio was also convicted of two counts of child abuse, as a result of his children having witnessed the shooting.
Mr Winter, a graphic designer, was shot six times by Palacio, including twice in the back.
Mr Winter had moved to Miami and married his killer's ex-wife a year earlier.
At the time of the shooting, a divorce settlement agreement was being finalised.
Palacio had claimed he had fired in self defence because he feared Mr Winter was about to shoot him.
But the court was told that Mr Winter had been unarmed at the time and had driven with Mrs Winter to Palacio's home to deliver the children for a court-arranged access visit.
Palacio, who worked as a fraud investigator for Citibank for more than 25 years, had claimed that Mr Winter had threatened him with a gun on two previous occasions.
But Mr Winter's wife said he had not owned a gun.
Mr Winter, who has a child in the UK from a previous relationship, was in the process of applying for US residency and the family had planned to set up a bed and breakfast business, jurors heard.