A Dominican court has convicted 10 people involved in the 2019 attempted killing of baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
Ortiz, a Dominican native, was ambushed by a man who dismounted from his motorcycle and shot him in the back at point-blank range while he was at a bar with friends in the affluent neighborhood of Santo Domingo
Two men, including accused shooter Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, were each sentenced to 30 years in prison by the First Collegiate Chamber in Santo Domingo.
The other eight were sentenced to between five and 20 years in prison. Three other defendants, including Victor Hugo Gómez Vazquez, who is accused of planning the attack, were acquitted for insufficient evidence.
The American private investigator hired by Ortiz said the hunk, affectionately known as “Big Daddy,” was the target of Dominican drug dealers who were jealous of him.
The findings by former Boston police chief Edward Davis contradict an earlier theory by Dominican Republic law enforcement that the killer was actually hired to shoot Ortiz’s cousin, Sixtower David Fernandez, who sat on the same table.
Dominican authorities said the killer confused Fernandez with Ortiz, one of the country’s most popular baseball players.
Ortiz was a smiling, powerful hitter who led the Red Sox to three World Series titles, was a 10-time All-Star and hit 541 home runs before retiring in 2016 . He was alive in the Dominican Republic when he was shot.
Ortiz was seriously injured in the June 2019 shooting.Doctors in the Dominican Republic removed Ortiz’s gallbladder and part of his bowel after the shooting and he underwent further surgery in the United States
The 10 men were sentenced for crimes including organized crime, use of illegal firearms, attempted murder and complicity, the court wrote in a statement.
Authorities noted that further details of the sentencing will be announced on February 8, 2023.
Janetsky reported from Havana. Associated Press writer Martín José Adames Alcántara contributed to this report from Santo Domingo.