The woman who killed her lover shortly after moving into his Little Cayman home has been sentenced to six years imprisonment and will be deported to her native Honduras once her sentence is complete.
Justice Charles Quin told the Grand Court Tuesday that Elsy De Ortega Barralga had faced a substantial degree of provocation when she stabbed her boyfriend, Little Cayman businessman Perry McLaughlin, seven times on Nov. 2, 2013.
Barralga, 29, had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter, claiming she acted in self-defense.
The court heard that while Barralga did not call the police or for medical assistance, she did run to a neighbor’s house for help. She did not leave the scene or try to hide her blood-soaked clothing or the knife.
Justice Quin said Barralga and Mr. McLaughlin had been in a physical altercation in which he had forced her to the ground and punched her. While on the ground, she had picked up a knife that Mr. McLaughlin had thrown to the floor, the judge said.
Justice Quin said medical evidence had shown that Mr. McLaughlin, 54, would have died within one minute of receiving the fatal stab wound.
“It is my view that the degree of provocation is substantial,” the judge said. Highlighting sentencing guidelines, he said he could find no good reason to disagree with an eight-year sentence and reduced it by 25 percent because of Barralga’s guilty plea.
He said the couple had shared a happy and loving relationship and Mr. McLaughlin’s death was a “sad and tragic event that never should have happened.”