News World news Venezuela Three jailed for murder of former Miss Venezuela and her British husband

A woman holds up a picture of former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her ex-husband Thomas Berry

Three men who confessed to killing a former  Miss Venezuela and her British ex-husband in a crime that shocked a nation increasingly accustomed to violence have each been sentenced to more than 20 years in jail.

The sentences were handed down on Tuesday by a court in Valencia, near where Mónica Spear and Thomas Henry Berry were killed in January, when they resisted a robbery attempt while they were stranded on a lonely stretch of highway. Five more defendants remain on trial, Venezuela’s supreme court said.

Oil-rich Venezuela has one of the world’s highest homicide rates, and its president, Nicolás Maduro, has said combating violent crime is one of his top priorities.

Spear was a 2004 Miss Venezuela and popular soap opera actor.

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