The estranged wife of the Texas man who is accused of strangling to death his Colombian DJ girlfriend has revealed that she was forced to fil
The estranged wife of the Texas man who is accused of strangling to death his Colombian DJ girlfriend has revealed that she was forced to file for divorce to get out of an ‘abusive’ marriage. In a statement provided her attorney to CBS TV affiliate WDJT in Milwaukee on Thursday, Ashley Poulos (pictured left) broke her silence and said she was ‘deeply saddened’ for the death of Valentina Trespalacios, who was allegedly murdered by John Poulos (pictured right) in the Colombian capital city of Bogotá in January.
Ashley said the couple was married in 2009 and went on to have ‘three amazing children,’ including their only son who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of four and was an invited guest of former House Speaker Paul Ryan in at the State of the Union address in 2018. However, she acknowledged that the marriage soured three years later and that John abandoned the family and left them broke right before she filed a petition for divorce. Pictured: John Poulos being taken into custody in Panamá on January 24, moments before he was about to board a flight to Turkey and then connect to Montenegro.
‘The relationship between John and I was abusive, which led me to file for divorce in 2021. Shortly before I filed for divorce, John transferred our entire marital estate to an offshore trust leaving the family with nothing,’ she said. According to Ashley, John then left the United States and lived in Cyprus, Turkey and Ukraine among other European nations. Not too long ago she found out that he had been traveling to Colombia for vacation and was living in Texas. She added that John abandoned their children and has not seen them in person since he moved away from their Franklin, Wisconsin, home in January 2021. Pictured: One of the mugshots of John Poulos shows that he has a large scratch on the left side of his face.
‘His actions have led to a horrific divorce process which is still on-going. John has represented himself as a ‘sovereign citizen’ throughout the divorce process incurring no legal fees himself but causing me to incur thousands of dollars in attorney and guardian ad litem fees,’ she said. ‘Despite being ordered to pay child support, he has refused to do so.’ Pictured: John and Ashley Poulos with their three children.
On Monday, the judge who is in charge of the couple’s divorce proceeding signed off on an arrest warrant for John. ‘While I knew that John was in Columbia for the past few months, through social media posts, I was not aware of this double life he was leading,’ Ashley said. ‘I am deeply saddened for the family of Valentina Trespalacios and for all those involved in this tragedy.’ Poulos, who is in custody in Colombia, was ordered held in pretrial detention by a judge on Thursday afternoon. He is accused of femicide and concealment of evidence. Pictured: Poulos and his wife Ashley accompanied their son Jackson, who was six years old at the time, at the House Chamber for former President Donald Trump’s message to a joint session of the United States Congress on January 30, 2018.
‘My client had a special relationship with the victim, he loved her and wanted to settle down with her,’ Poulos’ lawyer Juan Falla said. ‘My client did not come to Bogotá to murder someone, he came to be with someone he loved.’ Poulos traveled to Bogotá on January 19 as part of his plans to live with Trespalacios (pictured). He had been dating her for about eight months and had plans of marrying her. He had allegedly told her that he has rented out an apartment long-term for them to live in in the north side of Bogotá and picked her up from her mother’s condominium on January 20. However, the marriage plans took a left turn during the visit after Poulos allegedly had intercourse with Trespalacios and then beat and choked to death at the apartment the early morning of January 22.
A surveillance camera near the apartment showed Poulos pushing a supermarket cart with luggage bags, including one that had Trespalacios (pictured) stuffed into it and covered it with a blanket. Additional footage captured Poulos placing the cart next to his rental Volkswagen Voyage and struggling to pick up the luggage back before he was able to place it in the trunk. He then drove to the south side of Bogotá, where he abandoned the suitcase in a dumpster and headed to El Dorado International Airport to escape the country on a flight to Panamá City, Panamá. A homeless man searching for recyclables made the gruesome discovery of Trespalacios’ body.
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