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Where is chef César Román now?

Where is chef César Román now?

After several years in prison, César Román has spoken out about the murder of his ex-girlfriend. Netflix’s new true crime documentary “Cooking Up Murder” follows the case involving Román, a successful chef who was convicted of murdering and dismembering 25-year-old Heidi Paz in 2018.

Throughout his career, Román had become known as the “king of cachopo,” a traditional meat dish hailing from the Asturias region in northern Spain. The news of Paz’s murder and Román’s subsequent conviction dominated Spanish news headlines at the time.

The finale of “Cooking Up Murder” leaves viewers with details about the result of Román’s trial and a letter he recently released, years after the verdict came out.

Is César Román still in prison?

In June 2021, Román was found guilty of the crime and sentenced to 15 years in prison by a unanimous jury vote. He is currently still serving his sentence at the Alcalá Meco Prison just outside of Madrid.

In November 2022, Román filed an appeal of his sentence, multiple Spanish news outlets reported at the time. The Criminal Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court rejected his appeal, according to El Mundo, confirming Román’s 15-year sentence and compensation payments of over €140,000 to each of Paz’s children and €100,000 to her mother.

César Román in

César Román in

Has Román confessed to the murder?

In April 2024, Román confessed for the first time to killing Paz in a new letter released by Spanish TV channel Telecinco. He wrote that he came to this decision through “prayer and encountering Jesus Christ.”

“I convey to the Provincial Court of Madrid my recognition of the crime committed, my regret and in which I ask for forgiveness from the victim’s family,” Román wrote.

During his trial in 2021, Román never admitted guilt, stating in court that he believed witnesses were lying and the sole objective of the investigation was to incriminate him, according to Spanish outlet Heraldo. However, his letter takes a more remorseful tone.

“I can’t turn back time, something that I would desire more than anything in the world,” Román continued in the letter. He also stated that he would be willing to make an official declaration of his guilt before a judge and Paz’s relatives, and that he no longer wished to move forward with appeals his lawyer had presented.

What was the response to Román’s letter?

Alexis Socias, lawyer for Paz’s family, said she believed the letter was an attempt by Román to obtain more privileges in prison.

“In a year and a half, half of his sentence will be served and this would be a way to begin to access those privileges,” Socias told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Spain’s criminal justice system categorizes prisoners under three different types of “regime,” which vary based on levels of supervision, confinement, and privileges. Part of the eligibility requirements for freer regimes involves the amount of time prisoners have completed in their sentence.

Telecino reported that the judge who ruled on Román’s case, José Antonio Taín, stated that these types of letters are quite common. Taín also presided over the prominent case of Asunta Barrera, whose adopted parents were convicted of murdering her in 2015.

“The courts that [oversee] execution of sentences — when they deny him various privileges, one of the reasons they are denied is precisely because he has not recognized the crime,” Taín said.

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