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‘Cold-Blooded’ Fugitive Who Killed Wife in 1994 Is Caught After Trying to Become U.S. Citizen

William Hernando Usma Acosta killed his wife and tried to kill his daughter in Colombia in 1994 and then fled to Massachusetts where he started a new family.

FBI photo of William Hernando Usma Acosta

A Colombian fugitive who murdered his wife in the 1990s has been arrested in Massachusetts, where he hid out for decades, after he attempted to become a United States citizen.

The FBI arrested William Hernando Usma Acosta, 61, on Wednesday for the 1994 murder of his wife and the attempted murder of his daughter, the bureau announced in a press release. Acosta, who has been living under the alias Carlos Alberto Rendon, fled Colombia after killing his wife Laura Rose Agudelo, and trying to kill his daughter in Medellin, Colombia.

“The murder was the result of a domestic violence incident in which Usma Acosta shot and killed his wife, and then shot his daughter as she tried to intervene,” the press release states. “He fled Colombia shortly after the incident and is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice.”

For the past few decades, Acosta has been living in Belmont, Massachusetts under the Rendon alias and while he did so successfully for years, law enforcement began catching on in 2020. It was at that point that “special agents with the FBI Boston Division’s Violent Crimes Task Force received information that Usma Acosta may be residing in the greater Boston area.” Acosta had blown his cover after he submitted an application to become an American citizen. With the application, he submitted a fraudulent Colombian birth certificate and his real fingerprints. The FBI matched those fingerprints with the wanted fugitive.

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force then tracked Acosta down to his home in Belmont. They arrested him without incident as he was headed into work in Waltham. 

The Seventh Circuit Penal Court of Medellin, of the Government of Colombia had sentenced Acosta to 45 years in prison — though the sentence was later reduced to 28 years and six months based on new sentencing guidelines  for aggravated murder, aggravated attempted murder, and illegal possession of a firearm in 1996. He was also sentenced to 10 years of Restricted Citizen’s Rights.  

While on the run, Acosta started a new family. He remarried in 1998 to an American citizen and became a permanent resident in America as a result. He had a son with his new wife. 

It’s not clear if he has a lawyer.

“William Hernando Usma Acosta is a convicted cold-blooded killer who thought he could evade justice by entering the United States and creating a new identity for himself so he could live under the radar. He needs to face justice for what he did, and today’s arrest ensures that he will,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division, stated on Wednesday. “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will not be a safe haven for those wanted in their native countries, and the FBI will continue to leverage our international partnerships to remove dangerous fugitives like him from our communities.”

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