WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Boynton Beach man accused of killing his wife and burying her remains in the backyard of his home was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday afternoon.
Roberto Colon, 67, was immediately sentenced after jurors in his murder trial returned the guilty verdict.
Testimony during trial revealed that he killed his new bride, Mary Stella Gomez-Mullet, whose partial remains were found buried in the backyard of their home on Southwest 28th Court in Boynton Beach last year, and then sawed off her head and legs.
Colon testified Tuesday that he believed Gomez-Mullet had stolen thousands of dollars from his mother and confronted her about it when she hit him with a purse, so he struck her in the head with a pipe. Colon said he then washed off the body and sat with it outside before using a saw to remove her head and legs.
He described to the jury how he disposed of her head in a dumpster near the Salvation Army while running errands. The head was never found.
In one of his recorded statements to police, Colon referred to his garage as an "abattoir," which is another name for a slaughterhouse.
The 45-year-old woman's decapitated body was found several weeks after she had been reported missing.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a 911 caller said she hadn't been heard from Gomez-Mullet since the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2021, when she was headed to Colon's home.
Colon later told police that he married the missing woman "after meeting her as part of a deal that she would take care of his mother in exchange for U.S. citizenship through the marriage." Colon had accused Gomez-Mullet of defrauding his mother out of several thousand dollars over several months.
According to the affidavit, Colon told police that he had been in an argument with Gomez-Mullet and "terminated (her) from her employment."
After returning from a doctor's office about an hour later, Colon said, Gomez-Mullet was gone and he didn't know where she went.
Three days later on Feb. 23, a bloody purse was located less than a mile from Colon's house. Items in the purse were identified by family members as belonging to Gomez-Mullet.
When police interviewed Colon the next day, he said that Gomez-Mullet had bumped into a wall but denied she suffered any injuries and said he did not hurt her.
Detectives found several red markings, later confirmed to be blood, on the front door to Colon's home. Colon told detectives the blood came from a cut he got doing work on the house.
Later, when told blood was found in a garage/workshop, Colon said he hadn't noticed it, but one of his dogs had died there about five years ago.
He also told police he had buried about six of his dogs in the backyard.
Additional evidence was collected Feb. 26 after the blood was confirmed to be human.
According to the affidavit, Colon told detectives that Gomez-Mullet was "swimming with the fishes" and described her as a "piece of (expletive)."
"Find the body," Colon yelled to detectives. As detectives left, Colon said to them with a smirk, "Well, at least you didn't find a body at my house."
According to the affidavit, before he was taken to the police station, Colon believed nobody was listening when he told a friend, "There's one thing they can't do. They can't put — what's his name? — Humpty Dumpty back together again."
During a search of the backyard, investigators found human remains that were positively identified as belonging to Gomez-Mullet.
Colon had married Gomez-Mullet in January 2021 during a ceremony at the Delray Beach courthouse.