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Maria Kukucova, Model Convicted of Killing Ex-Boyfriend, Gets 15 1/2 Years

MADRID — A Spanish court sentenced a Slovakian model to 15 ½ years in prison after she was found guilty of murder for shooting her British millionaire ex-boyfriend at his home near Marbella two years ago.

In a ruling made public Tuesday, the Malaga court sentenced 26-year-old Maria Kukucova to 15 years for murder and another six months for breaking into the apartment where the murder took place.

Image: Trial against Slovenian model Maria Kukucova
Slovenian model Maria Kukucova (L) chats with her sister (R) before the trial against her at Seville's Court in Seville, Andalusia, Spain, 23 May 2016. Kukucova is accused of murder of her boyfriend, British millionaire Andrew Bush, in Estepona. JORGE ZAPATA / EPA

A jury last Friday found Kukucova guilty of killing Andrew Bush on April 5, 2014. She had testified that she had never meant to harm Bush, saying the former jewelry store owner died during a violent struggle.

Prosecutors say Kukucova shot the 48-year-old Bush twice in the head and once in the shoulder.

The court also ordered Kukucova to pay a total of 200,000 euros ($223,000) to the victim's daughter and sister, as well as court costs.

Kukucova told the court last week that Bush had threatened her with a gun. "The gun just went off. I only wanted to break free from his grasp," she said. She broke down in tears when photos of his body were shown in court.

Image: Trial against Slovenian model Maria Kukucova
Slovenian model Maria Kukucova (R) reacts in a courtroom during the trial against her at Seville's Court in Seville, Andalusia, Spain, 23 May 2016. Kukucova is accussed of murder of her boyfriend, British millionaire Andrew Bush, in Estepona. JORGE ZAPATA / EPA

The murder occurred when Bush returned home unexpectedly from a trip to Britain. The two had broken up about a month before the killing, following a relationship of more than two years.

Kukucova said she spent two days alone inside his house and that Bush arrived after a trip with a Russian girlfriend, Maria Korotaeva. When he saw Kukucova was there, Bush told Korotaeva to go outside.

After the killing, Kukucova told Korotaeva to get out of Bush's Hummer vehicle and drove away. She fled to Slovakia but turned herself in to police four days after the killing. She was extradited to Spain a month later.