Sixteen-year-old convicted for murdering ALdaris executive

  • 2005-10-12
  • By TBT staff
RIGA - 16-year-old was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Zemgale regional court Oct. 10 for the murder of Laima Priedite, the marketing director for the Aldaris brewery.
Pavels Gaponovs reportedly denied killing Priedite and answered all questions about the incident by saying that he could not remember anything of the event.

The 29-year old marketing director was found murdered on the side of the Tukums-Zante road in western Latvia on Feb. 13 with multiple stab wounds. Suspicians were raised when she did not come home. Priedite was later found at 2:00 a.m.. Her Volvo was discovered not far from the scene.

Gaponovs, who reportedly lives nearby and has had run-ins with law enforcement before, was apprehended shortly afterwards at the age of 15. The teenager has already spent a year in prison. His sentence gave him 14 years for the murder, and two for theft - one of which he already served - bringing his total time in jail to 15 years.

Zoja and Nikolajs Gaponovs, Pavels' legal guardians, will now have to pay Juris Prieditis 2,000 lats (2,900 euros) in compensation.

The ruling may be appealed to the state's Supreme Court within 10 days.

The counsel for the defense said the ruling did not surprise him.

"That was no surprise. It was clear that it would be a conviction," lawyer Oskars Ondrups told the Baltic News Service. "Appealing the judgment is in the hands of the defendant and his parents. When the defendant reads the judgment himself, we will think about what to do. There is still time to appeal the decision."