The life of Jose Antonio Sanchez Barriga has been marked by crime, drugs, homosexual prostitution and the underworld in general since he was very young. Today he is in the news for being the confessed author of a homicide in his town, Brenes, but it is not the first time that he has monopolized space in the media. When he was still a minor, he became the main witness in the Arny case and the accusations of a sexual scandal that shook Seville in the 1990s were built on his story, given the number of celebrities who were related to the case.
The initial complaint of what was then known by the code name of Eduardo or as witness number one uncovered the investigation into the establishment located in the Plaza de Armas, in which underage youth prostituted themselves. Even then, Sanchez Barriga had a criminal record. In fact, it was related to a homicide committed when he was not yet 18 years old.
The first complaint was filed in February 1995, although the sentence of the Court of Seville later discredited his testimony. “Absolutely no credibility deserves the court given the multiple statements made and contradictions in which it has incurred, ignoring itself when it has told the truth, if it has ever said it,” the judges said. This witness was the one who, for example, accused the juvenile judge Rico Lara, now deceased, and the Court concluded that he had “reasons of animosity” towards the magistrate, because he had withdrawn the guard and custody of the young man’s mother. and had decided to internment in correctional facilities.
On one occasion he even said that it was all a setup to cover up the plot of the GAL and that a head of the National Police had placed a revolver on his head so that he would not withdraw the accusations. He also said that they offered him money in exchange for accusing celebrities. The Arny case would end with most of the defendants acquitted. Only 16 of the 49 people who were prosecuted were convicted. Almost all the celebrities were acquitted due to the lack of credibility of the testimonies of the minors who had accused them, with Sanchez Barriga at the head.
The images of the trial, with a parade of celebrities passing through the Court of Seville and some of the accused disguised with masks, joke glasses or Nazarene dresses, are already part of the collective memory of the city. The owner of the pub, Carlos Saldana, was convicted of eleven crimes of prostitution of minors to a sentence of 33 years, but the legal principle of effective compliance with three times the maximum individual sentence imposed allowed him to leave prison in October 2007, after nine years inside.
The Court also sentenced the manager of the premises, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Losada, to 18 years, while Domingo Arnaldo Concha, the dancer known as Arny and who had given the club its name, was sentenced to one year and nine months. Arnaldo Concha died in December 2007 at the Virgen del Rocio Hospital, as a result of a heart attack. Many of the sentences imposed on the 16 defendants were ultimately suspended, as they were equal to or less than two years in prison.
Sanchez Barriga would be sentenced shortly after the high-profile Arny trial for two robberies at knifepoint, one of some tourists in the Parque de Maria Luisa and the other of some students in the Prado de San Sebastian. Both episodes occurred in October 1996 and coincided with the trial sessions in which he was the main witness.
By then, he had already reached the age of majority and faced much harsher penalties than during his time as a minor. For those two robberies with violence and intimidation, he was sentenced to five years in prison. He was released from the Topas prison in Salamanca in December 2003. Less than four months later, at the end of March, at the age of 26, he beat to death a 72-year-old man with whom he had arranged a sexual encounter. He hit him with a concrete beam after an argument about the relationship they had established, after meeting at the Santa Justa station.
He was arrested shortly after by the Civil Guard as the alleged perpetrator of the homicide, the second in his history after the first he committed when he was a minor. As he did this Friday in Brenes in his third death, he confessed the responsibility of the crime, he was cooperative with the authorities and said he was very sorry for what happened.
The victim of that homicide disappeared on March 24, 2004 and his body was found seven days later, on the 31st, in a place known as Cochineras Bodegon, in San Jose de la Rinconada. During the discussion, Barriga snatched the victim’s purse and other belongings. After attacking him with the concrete bar, he fled in the dead man’s car, which he later abandoned in an industrial estate, where he collided with a lamppost and left it parked badly.
A year and a half later, in November 2005, he would accept a 15-year prison sentence for this homicide and the theft of the victim’s car and belongings. He had, therefore, not been free for too long when this Friday he killed a 53-year-old man and injured two other people in a house in Brenes. Now he is 43 years old and already has three homicides in his history. He was arrested shortly after the murder and became a collaborator again. He did not resist and confessed the crime. Sanchez Barriga thus returned to being deprived of liberty. In the next few hours he will be brought to justice and, in all probability, he will be sent back to the place where he perhaps never should have left: prison.

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