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January 30, 2023
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10 convicted in attack on ex-Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in Dominican Republic

Ten of the 13 people Dominican authorities accused of attempting to murder former major-league baseball player David Ortiz have been convicted.

Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in his native Dominican Republic in June 2019.

Judges in a Dominican court handed down sentences from five to 30 years Monday against several men accused of participating in the attack.

The men were found guilty of attempted murder to conspiring and using illegal firearms, as well as associating with criminals, the Dominican Republic’s Office of Attorney General said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Eddy Vladimir Féliz García, 26, and Rolfi Ferreras Cruz, 27, received the longest sentences “for their direct participation in the assassination attempt,” the attorney general’s office said. Ferreras Cruz was accused of shooting Ortiz while riding a motorcycle driven by Féliz García. Both were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, 28, was sentenced to 20 years. According to the attorney general, Rodríguez Mota is “the person who paid those who carried out the act” against Ortiz.

The seven other men got sentences of less than 10 years.

Oliver Moisés Mirabal, 28, and Eduardo Ciprián Lebrón, 24, were sentenced to a decade in prison. Gabriel Alexander Pérez Vizcaíno, 31, and Joel Rodríguez de la Cruz, 28, were sentenced to nine and six years, respectively.

Franklin Junior Merán, 26, Junior César La Hoz Vargas, 28, and Porfirio Ayendi Dechamps Vásquez, 29, got five-year sentences each.

Three people were acquitted because of insufficient evidence, including Víctor Hugo Gómez Vásquez, who was alleged to have been the mastermind.

Gómez Vásquez covered his eyes and cried moments after he heard the verdict Monday night, the Dominican newspaper Diario Libre reported.

In addition to serving their respective sentences, the 10 convicted men must pay 50 million pesos in compensation for damages caused, the attorney general’s office said.

Investigators found Ortiz was confused for another person at the bar who was the target of the murder plot.

Ortiz underwent multiple operations in the Dominican Republic and the U.S. after the attack.

Ortiz, known as “Big Papi,” was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. He led the Boston Red Sox to victory in the 2013 World Series, when he was named the Most Valuable Player.

Nicole Acevedo is a reporter for NBC News Digital. She reports, writes and produces stories for NBC Latino and NBCNews.com.

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