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American, Uruguyan sentenced for Bolivian hotel blasts

Lestat Claudius de Orleans gets escorted by police after his arrest in March 2006 in La Paz, Bolivia.


Alda Ribero Costa also was arrested in connection with the bombings of two hotels in the Bolivian capital.


The March 2006 blasts at two hotels in La Paz killed two people.
(CNN) -- An American man and a Uruguyan woman were sentenced to prison Tuesday night for their roles in deadly bombings at two hotels in Bolivia, the Bolivian news agency reported.

The March 2006 blasts at two hotels in La Paz killed two people.

Lestat Claudius de Orleans, 26, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for crimes of terrorism and murder, according to a report carried by the Bolivian Information Agency. A court also sentenced Alda Ribero Costa, 47, to prison for her role in the dynamite bombings, the agency said.

The March 2006 explosions at two hotels in the Bolivian capital, La Paz, killed two people and exacerbated tensions between Bolivia and the United States. The news agency did not mention a motive for the bombings.

Washington attorney Paul Wolfe, who represents de Orleans, had raised concerns about a fair trial after Bolivian President Evo Morales made statements about the case.

"The prosecutors are under significant pressure to find [him] guilty because the president of Bolivia publicly announced that he is guilty," Wolfe wrote in an August 2006 letter to Bolivian authorities.

The letter is posted on the Web site of the Foreign Prisoner Support Service, which describes itself as a "volunteer prison advocacy service to families whose loved ones are interned in foreign countries."

Morales spoke out shortly after the bombings nearly two years ago.

"This American was putting bombs in hotels," Morales said, according to an Associated Press report from 2006. "The U.S. government fights terrorism, and they send us terrorists."

The attorney's letter says Morales' comments "endangered the life" of his client.

"When the crime was re-enacted, a large crowd formed, attacking" his client "with sticks and rocks," Wolfe's letter says.

The letter refers to the young man as Triston Jay Amero and says he is also known as Lestat Montevideo. The Associated Press reported in 2006 that he may be mentally ill and that he adopted the name of Lestat Claudius de Orleans y Montevideo, derived from Anne Rice's vampire novels.

Reached by telephone in California, his mother declined to comment Tuesday evening. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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