Jury selection begins in murder-for-hire trial into Winnipeg man's death in Puerto Rico

Jury selection begins Tuesday in the trial of a woman accused of hiring someone to murder her Winnipeg-born husband after he filed for divorce.

Adam Anhang was stabbed to death in 2005, wife is on trial for conspiracy to murder

Adam Anhang was stabbed to death in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2005. His wife, Áurea Vázquez Rijos, is accused of hiring a man to kill him after he filed for divorce. (Submitted by Anhang family)

Jury selection begins Tuesday in the trial of a woman accused of hiring someone to murder her Winnipeg-born husband after he filed for divorce.

Adam Anhang, 32, was stabbed to death Sept. 23, 2005, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he lived. More than 12 years later, his wife, Áurea Vázquez Rijos, stands accused of conspiracy to murder.

Jury selection began Tuesday for the federal court trial which will take place in San Juan.

A clerk with the federal court told CBC jury selection could last until Friday. Vázquez Rijos's trial will begin shortly after.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Anhang moved to the United States to attend university in New York, according to his obituary published in the Winnipeg Free Press.

He later moved to Puerto Rico, where he worked as a real estate developer and sold software to online gaming sites.

Áurea Vázquez Rijos, left, of Puerto Rico, sits inside a courtroom at the National Court in Madrid on Dec. 18, 2013. Vazquez was arrested in June 2013 in Madrid after flying in from Italy, where she had lived since 2008. (Javier Lizon/Associated Press)

In 2013, his father, Abe Anhang, told CBC his son filed for divorce about six months into his marriage. The next day his son was stabbed, he said.

The attack took place in a tourist district of San Juan. A man walked up to the couple and stabbed Anhang multiple times and injured Vázquez Rijos.

After another man was wrongly convicted in the attack, Alex Pabon Colon was indicted in 2008. He told authorities Vázquez Rijos offered him $3 million to kill her husband.

By then, Vázquez Rijos had moved to Italy where laws prevent any person from being extradited to countries that allow the death penalty. But on a trip to Spain in 2013, authorities caught up with Vázquez Rijos and she was extradited to face trial in the U.S. territory.

Under U.S. federal law, the offence of murder for hire is punishable under the death penalty; however, Puerto Rico abolished capital punishment in the 1920s.

with files from the Associated Press