On Tuesday, a Nicaraguan court dismissed former Binghamton University student Orlando Tercero’s appeal to reduce his sentence of 30 years in a Nicaraguan prison for the murder of senior nursing student Haley Anderson.
The court proceedings were livestreamed from Nicaragua to family and friends of Anderson in the Broome County District Attorney’s grand jury room. The appeal was based on claims that Tercero was mentally unstable. His defense argued that a lack of proper evidence was put forward by the prosecution. The appeal was denied after the prosecution cited laws specific to femicide, a term referencing criminalized violence against women in Nicaraguan law.
Tercero was found guilty of femicide on Nov. 1, 2019 for the murder of Anderson at his 23 Oak St. residence in March 2018, and received the maximum sentence possible in Nicaragua. During Tercero’s trial, Anderson’s friends described Tercero as having “aggressive tendencies” and becoming “obsessive” following their breakup.
After the court denied the appeal, Karen and Gordon Anderson, Anderson’s parents, spoke to the Nicaraguan court and thanked them for their work.
“Thank you very much for not granting the appeal,” Karen Anderson said. “I have not seen any remorse from [Tercero]. I’ve only seen regret that he is not going to be able to lessen his sentence. Unfortunately, I don’t even think 30 years is enough, but I appreciate all the work you have done to convict [Tercero] to the fullest extent of the law.”
After Tercero’s appeal was denied on Tuesday, he was given 10 days to appeal again. As the court proceedings ended, Tercero was hugged and kissed on his cheek by his mother.
Karen Anderson also spoke to Tercero directly through the livestream.
“I hope that you can get the help that you need to be a better human being in 30 years when you do get to leave prison,” she said.
Tercero’s trial and appeal took place in Managua, Nicaragua after Nicaraguan officials denied requests from the United States to extradite him. Because Tercero, 23, has dual-citizenship in the United States and Nicaragua, Nicaraguan officials are not required to send him back to the United States, where he faces a second-degree murder charge, and he remains in the country in the Directorate of Judicial Assistance, a Nicaraguan prison more commonly referred to as “El Chipote.” Still, Gordon Anderson said he believes justice has been served for his daughter in Nicaragua.
“I thank the Nicaraguan court system,” he said. “I was a little uneasy when it first came about, not having control of the situation here in the United States, but as the trial progressed, I quickly felt assured that the right thing would be done and I think a remarkable job was done.”
He said he would like his daughter to be remembered for her positive influence and attitude.
“She was a compassionate person who had a zest for life,” Gordon Anderson said. “She lived to spread joy and love. She offered help to those who needed it. Wherever she went, a smile followed. Her actions were contagious. I would like her to be remembered [in the way] that she did the next right thing.”