Son of federal judge in Puerto Rico pleads guilty to killing wife after winning new trial

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The son of a federal judge who was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his wife more than a decade ago pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday in a deal reached with Puerto Rican prosecutors during a retrial.

Pablo Casellas had won a new trial after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that criminal cases require unanimous verdicts. At the time, suspects in Puerto Rico could be convicted by a minimum of nine jurors, and Casellas had been found guilty in an 11-1 verdict.

Casellas was convicted in 2014 on first-degree murder and other charges and was sentenced to 109 years in prison for the fatal shooting of his wife in one of Puerto Rico’s most high-profile cases. Carmen Paredes, 46, was shot several times, including in the forehead and chest, in July 2012 at the couple's upscale home where they lived with their two children.

Casellas’ father is U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Casellas, a former Puerto Rico treasury secretary appointed to the federal bench in 1994.