A Colombian man who murdered his wife has been hiding out in the US — under a fake name — since the 1990s, the feds said.
William Hernando Usma Acosta, 61, had been on the run since 1994, when he fatally shot his wife and daughter as the younger woman tried to intervene in the deadly domestic attack in Medellin, the FBI announced this week.
Usma Acosta was arrested this week after he was found living in Belmont, Mass. under the name Carlos Alberto Rendon with a new wife, who is a US citizen, and their son, authorities said.
He had obtained permanent legal status in the US through the marriage and had filed to become naturalized in 2020 using a fraudulent birth certificate, according to the FBI.
Acosta “needs to face justice for what he did,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division.
“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,” Bonavolonta said in a statement.
“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.”
Usma Acosta fled his native country shortly after the June 19, 1994 slaying of his wife, Laura Rose Agudelo, but was convicted in absentia on murder and gun possession charges with an international warrant issued for his arrest.
His initial sentence was 45 years – but the sentence was reduced to 29 1/2 years because of a change in sentencing guidelines, the FBI said. He was also slapped with 10 years of “Restricted Citizen’s Rights,” according to officials.
Usma Acosta had allegedly crossed into the US in 1995 and obtained permanent resident status when he was married in Massachusetts three years later.
Using his assumed name, Usma Acosta filed to become a US citizen in 2020 and submitted the fraudulent birth certificate and fingerprints, which authorities eventually used to verify his true identity.
Belmont residents were shocked to learn of Usma Acosta’s disturbing past after he was arrested Wednesday on the way to work.
“He seems like a perfectly nice person, you know,” Michael Fraai told WCVB. “He would probably be the last person I would say had a violent past. I’m totally perplexed. That’s the last thing I would have expected.”
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement now plans to turn him over to Colombia authorities to face his sentence.