MADRID, Spain – A Spaniard who defied a restraining order and went on television to beg his estranged girlfriend to marry him, only to be snubbed, was ordered jailed Wednesday on suspicion of stabbing her to death, officials said.
Ricardo Navarro, 30, was convicted three weeks ago of abusing the woman, a Russian identified only as Svetlana, and a court issued an order barring him from coming within 500 meters (yards) of her, a court said.
Still, Navarro and the woman took part in a popular daytime talk show last Wednesday, during which he fell to his knees, cried and offered her a ring.
"I love you. You only live once, as you told me, and I want to spend mine with you," Navarro told the woman on a program called Diario de Patricia on the Antena 3 network.
"I want you to marry me. You are everything to me. Everything," Navarro said, his voice breaking. The woman said she did not want to marry him or reconcile in any way.
The Russian woman, also 30, was found with her throat cut four days later in the elevator of her apartment building in the eastern city of Alicante, and died Monday. Police arrested Navarro.
He appeared in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing and insisted he had an alibi — that he was at his parents house the night the woman was killed, his lawyer Jorge Roman said.
But Judge Francisco Javier Martinez Medina sent him to jail pending further investigation, although he did not formally charge Navarro with any crime.
The woman's last name has not been released because it is court policy not to name victims of gender violence, said an official at the Superior Court of Justice of Valencia, which has jurisdiction in neighboring Alicante.
The court said in a separate statement that when the abuse sentence was handed down against Navarro on Oct. 31, his whereabouts were unknown and police could not find him to formally serve it and the restraining order.
Antena 3 did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.
Boomerang, the company that produces the program for Antena 3, said the televised meeting was arranged as a surprise at Navarro's request so he could try to make up with his girlfriend.
Program staffers acting on their own have tried to contact relatives of the woman in Russia, but Boomerang sees no link between the show and her death and does not feel in any way responsible, said Boomerang's director of programming, Baldomero Limon.
"There is no cause and effect relationship," Limon said, noting the killing was four days after the show.
The host of the program, Patricia Gaztanaga, began Tuesday's show by expressing sorrow for the victim and her family. The Russian woman is survived by a young daughter from another relationship.
"None of us who take part in this program could imagine that something like this was going to happen," Gaztanaga said.