Flamenco star "Farruquito," whose proper name is Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya (photo, right), has been convicted to serve 16 months for careless driving and failure to stop after a fatal accident on a zebra crossing in Sevilla in September 2003. However, because the dancer has no previous convictions, he will not be jailed. Five other defendants were found not guilty of trying to cover up the crime by incriminating the dancer's 15 year old brother.
Farruquito, who has always indicated his willingness to pay compensation, will also have to pay €102,000 to the victim's widow, €16,400 to the victim's parents, and has been banned from driving for four years.
The judge took into account that Farruquito had made a full confession -albeit six months after the fatal accident- and had cooperated fully with investigators in deciding to impose the minimum sentence despite calls from the public prosecutor for a four year custodial term.
A source close to the family, said that Farruquito, who is in Barcelona for professional reasons, said that he "was delighted by the news and is very happy."
Farruquito was doing 100km/ hour and jumped two red lights
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Seven eye-witnesses to a fatal car accident involving flamenco dance star Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya "Farruquito" gave evidence yesterday afternoon on the second day of his trial. All said that he was going like a "bat out of hell," and that he jumped two sets of red lights within 500 metres of each other; the second was beyond the zebra crossing where the accident occurred. They estimated that he was doing around 100 km/ hour in a built up area in wet conditions, and said that the noise of the collision was "abnormally loud." The victim, Benjamín Olalla, was thrown into the air and landed 13.4 metres (14.65 yards) from the point of impact.
Police refute Farruquito evidence
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
On the second day of the trial of flamenco dance star Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya "Farruquito," six police officers have been refuting substantial parts of the dancer´s evidence, confirming that he initially blamed his younger brother, and denying that the street where the accident took place was badly illuminated.
Four Local and two National police officers all testified that the streets surrounding the San Pablo sports centre where the accident occurred were well lit by both street lamps and the lights on the sports centre itself. They also confirmed that the zebra crossing where the victim was knocked down and killed was recently painted and highly visible.
Farruquito is said to have denied being the owner of the BMW involved in the accident, and when he later admitted it, tried to claim that his younger brother had collided with a rubbish container. One of the officers confirmed that the dancer had tried to convince him that his younger brother was responsible for the accident and told him that, as a result, he had lost weight and was having problems sleeping.
The victim´s widow María Angeles Madero will be giving evidence later this afternoon.
Flamenco dance star death crash trial underway
Monday, July 4, 2005
The trial of Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya, better known by his stage name "Farruquito," started today in Sevilla. The dancer, who was freed on bail of €140,000 after he admitted that he was driving the BMW which killed 35 year old Benjamín Olalla outside San Pablo Pavillion on the 30th September 2003, and that he had neither a valid driving licence nor car insurance.
The public prosecution team is calling for a jail sentence of three years and three months and compensation for the victim´s widow of €115,855 while private prosecutors are pushing for an eight year custodial sentence and compensation and fines totalling nearly €1 million.
Five others, including two police officers, face minor charges for their part in a cover-up operation intended to initially throw blame on a 15 year old relative of the dancer, who would not have been liable to prosecution in an adult court.