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Crete: Murderer of US biologist Suzanne Eaton gets life sentence

The 28-year-old man who brutally murdered American molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton in July 2019 on Crete was served a life sentence by a court in Rethymno on Tuesday evening. Eaton’s sister attended the trial.

The seven-member court consisting of three judges and four jury members unanimously found Ioannis Paraskakis guilty of murder and with 6:1 votes guilty for the rape.  He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 13 years for rape and 4 months and €1,000 fine for possession of arms. The court did not accept any mitigating circumstances.

During his concluding testimony on the trial, Paraskakis claimed he hit Eaton with his car accidentally, put the still breathing woman in the trunk and threw her into a cave used as a shelter during World War II.

The body 60-year-old Suzanne Eaton, who was in Chania on Crete to attend a conference, was found nearly 10 km away from her hotel, a week after she was reported missing.

Evidence pointed to death from suffocation, due to the advanced decay of the body, forensic evidence for rape was not clear.

Paraskalis was arrested one week after the body was found and he confessed the murder.

Police had released his identity for further witnesses or victims to come forward.

Eaton was jogging in the area when she was run over by Paraskakis.

Eaton’s family lawyer Vasso Pantazi, as well as the state prosecutor, said that Eaton’s death resembled “the worst thriller scenario possible.” She said the American biologist was “the fourth in a row of women – as sworn testimonies revealed – to have been run over by the specific car of the specific person.”

The heinous murder of Suzanne Eaton shocked the Greek society and was reported by international media.

Paraskakis will be led back to the prison in Tripolis, Peloponnese, where he was in custody pending trial. He will serve his sentence there.

Eason’s sister, Julia, thanked the Greek authorities and the local society for helping find the body of her sister. Prior to the trial she told reporters that she was expecting justice to be served.

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