The estranged wife of the Texas man accused of strangling his Colombian DJ girlfriend has revealed she was forced to file for divorce to get out of an “abusive” marriage.
In a statement her lawyer gave to CBS TV affiliate WDJT in Milwaukee on Thursday, Ashley Poulos broke her silence and said she was “deeply saddened” by the death of Valentina Trespalacios, who was allegedly killed by John Poulos in the Colombian capital Bogotá. have been murdered. in January.
Ashley said the couple married in 2009 and went on to have “three wonderful children,” including their only son who was diagnosed with cancer at age four and was an invited guest of former House Speaker Paul Ryan at the 2018 State of the Union address.
However, she acknowledged that the marriage soured three years later and John abandoned the family, leaving them broke just before she filed for divorce.
Ashley Poulos (left) finally broke her silence and revealed details of her marriage to her estranged husband, John Poulos (right). The couple is pictured with former House Speaker Paul Ryan and their son, Jackson Poulos
John Poulos is caught on camera placing the suitcase containing Valentina Trespalacios in the trunk of a car on Jan. 22 before leaving the luggage bag in a dumpster in Bogotá, Colombia
John Poulos (pictured) was taken into custody in Panamá on January 24, just before he was about to board a flight to Turkey and then fly on to Montenegro
Valentina Trespalacios, a DJ in Bogotá, Colombia, was allegedly murdered by her Texas boyfriend, John Poulos. Her body was found in a suitcase reportedly thrown into a dumpster by Poulos on January 22, the same day he bought a flight to flee from Colombia to Panama.
“The relationship between John and I was abusive, which led me to file for divorce in 2021. Shortly before I filed for divorce, John transferred our entire marital estate to an offshore trust, leaving the family with nothing,” she said.
According to Ashley, John then left the United States and lived in other European countries, including Cyprus, Turkey and Ukraine. Not long ago she found out that he had traveled to Colombia for vacation and was living in Texas.
She added that John has abandoned their children and has not seen them in person since he moved out of their Franklin, Wisconsin home in January 2021.
His actions led to a gruesome divorce process that is still ongoing. John has presented himself as a ‘sovereign citizen’ throughout the divorce process and incurred no legal fees of his own, but has caused me to pay thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and guardian ad litem,” she said. “Despite orders to pay child support, he refused.”
An autopsy report found that Colombian DJ Valentina Trespalacios had been strangled and beaten
Still image from the night of January 21 when Valentina Trespalacios (center) was seen alive for the last time before her boyfriend, John Poulos (right), allegedly beat and strangled her
John Poulos stands next to a supermarket trolley containing a suitcase containing the body of his late girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios. He covered the suitcase with a blanket to block the 21-year-old’s head, which was sticking out of the luggage bag
Poulos and his wife Ashley accompanied their son Jackson, then six years old, to the House Chamber for former President Donald Trump’s message to a joint session of the United States Congress on January 30, 2018
On Monday, the judge responsible for the couple’s divorce proceedings signed a warrant for John’s arrest.
“While I knew through social media posts that John had been in Columbia for the past few months, I was unaware of this double life he was leading,” Ashley said. “I am deeply saddened for the family of Valentina Trespalacios and for all involved in this tragedy.”
Poulos, who is in custody in Colombia, was remanded in custody by a judge on Thursday afternoon.
He is charged with femicide and withholding evidence.
John and Ashley Poulos with their three children. The couple are currently going through a divorce, which Ashley filed for divorce in 2021 as she wanted to get out of an ‘abusive’ marriage
Valentina Trespalacios (pictured) dated her boyfriend John Poulos for eight months before her violent death
“My client had a special bond with the victim, he loved her and wanted to settle with her,” said Poulos’ lawyer Juan Falla. “My client didn’t come to Bogotá to kill someone, he came to be with someone he loved.”
Poulos traveled to Bogotá on January 19 as part of his plans to live with Trespalacios. He had been dating her for about eight months and had plans to marry her.
He allegedly told her that he rented out a long-term apartment for them to live in the north side of Bogotá and picked her up from her mother’s condominium on January 20.
However, wedding plans went awry during the visit after Poulos had sex with Trespalacios and was subsequently beaten and suffocated to death in the apartment on the early morning of January 22.
One of John Poulos’ mugshots shows him with a large scratch on the left side of his face, perhaps a sign that his girlfriend, Valentina Trespalacios, was fighting for her life before she was killed
The Turkish Airlines ticket purchased by John Poulos to travel from Panamá City, Panamá, to Istanbul, Turkey on January 24. The 35-year-old from Texas also had a ticket to Montenegro – the country has no extradition treaty with Colombia
A homeless person was going through a dumpster in the Los Cámbulos neighborhood of Bogotá when he discovered the suitcase containing the body of Valentina Trespalacios.
A surveillance camera near the apartment showed Poulos pushing a supermarket trolley with luggage bags, including one in which Trespalacios’ body was stuffed and covered with a blanket because her head was sticking out.
Additional footage shows Poulos placing the cart next to his rented Volkswagen Voyage and struggling to retrieve the luggage before he could place it in the boot.
He then drove to the south side of Bogotá, where he left the suitcase in a dumpster and headed to El Dorado International Airport to flee the country on a flight to Panamá City, Panama. A homeless man searching for recyclable materials made the gruesome discovery of Trespalacios’ body.