A man who allegedly murdered his roommate in Takoma Park in 1974 and then fled the country, only to spend the last three years in a Spanish jail, was arraigned on a murder charge yesterday in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
The man, Jorge Rivera, 30, was returned to the United States Thursday night after he waived extradition from Spain a spokesman for the Montgomery County state's attorney's office said. Rivera was arrested by Spanish police on fraud charges shortly after arriving in Madrid three yearsago.
Chief Judge Ralph G. Shure entered a plea of innocence for Rivera, a Bolivian national who apparently speaks only Spanish, until Rivera and his attorneys decide on a plea. During the brief afternoon arraignment, Rivera was represented by the county's public defender and an attorney who speaks Spanish.
Rivers is alleged to have beaten to death Hugo Andree Caballero his 29-year-old roommate, in late January or early February, 1974, burying his body in the backyard of the house they shared at 309 Philadelphia Ave., Takoma Park.
Then, according to the 10-count indictment read in Court yesterday, Rivera took the dead man's identity and credit cards, forged Caballero's name on a check to withdraw $10,251 from Caballero's bank account and left the country.
Tre indictment charges Rivera with first-and second-degree murder, man-slaughter, assault and battery, forgery and uttering, and false pretense.
Takoma Park police discovered Caballero's battered, pajama-clad body April 24, 1974, in a shallow grave about 4 feet from the back door of the small, frame house he had purchased six months before. The police were acting on a missing person complaint filed by Caballero's stepbrother.
After the slaying, Rivera allegedly withdrew money from Caballero's bank account and left the country, using a Bolivian passport and flying to Paris before making his way to Madrid, a state's attorney spokesman said.
During this time he allegedly used Caballero's credit cards and sent the bills to Caballero's stepbrother.