A Slovakian model has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the execution-style murder of her former boyfriend, British millionaire Andrew Bush, after a Spanish judge accepted the mitigating circumstance that that she had acted “in the heat of passion”.
In the ruling, made public on Tuesday, Judge Ernesto Manzano said that Maria Kukucova shot a defenceless Bush three times, with the last shot delivered to her victim’s head when it was little more than a foot from the floor.
The judge ruled that Kukucova shot Bush three times in “an unpredictable attack [which] gave him no chance to react or defend himself”.
The first shot his former girlfriend fired from the Amadeo Rossi .38 calibre revolver hit Bush in the arm from about 1.5 metres away inside his Costa del Sol villa.
The second bullet hit him on the left side of his head from an unspecified longer distance, but the third and fatal shot entered the right parietal lobe, through the top of Bush’s head.
The ruling says that 48-year-old Bush was given a coup de grâce after being “wounded by the previous shots, with his head less than 40 centimetres from the floor”.
The public prosecutor had asked for a 20-year sentence for the murder.
On Friday a jury in Malaga found Kukucova guilty of murdering Bush on April 5, 2014 in his Estepona mansion, while his new girlfriend, Maria Korotaeva, had been waiting in his car outside.
Her defence team argued that she had not meant to hurt the man she had been in a relationship with until six months prior to the murder, claiming that Bush had threatened her with a gun and that shots had been fired accidentally as they struggled.
Judge Manzano noted that Kukucova had tried to fool investigators by placing the revolver in the dead Mr Bush’s left hand before leaving the house and telling Ms Korotaeva to get out of the car so that she could drive away.
“She told Maria Korotaeva that Andrew was waiting for her inside the house, thus concealing from her what had really happened”, the ruling states.
Kukucova fled Spain before giving herself up to the police in her native Slovakia four days later.
In applying his sentence of 15 years for murder, the judge ruled that Kukucova had acted in the heat of passion because the jury had found that she was “obsessed with the victim” and that she had been “strongly affected by the break-up, not only in emotional terms, but also owing to the loss of social status and lifestyle”.
Kukucova was given an additional six-month sentence for unlawful entry into Bush’s home and ordered to pay damages of €160,000 to Ellie Mason-Bush, his daughter, and €40,000 to his sister Rachel.