Jason Puracal struggling with depression, says sister

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 29 at 7:49 PM

It's been exactly one year since a Tacoma man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering in Nicaragua.

Jason Puracal's family and hundreds of supporters have stood by him, claiming he was wrongfully convicted without evidence.

On Wednesday, the effort to free Puracal will strengthen with an event in Los Angeles and one in Seattle.

Supporters with Change.org plan to deliver a petition to the Nicaraguan embassy in L.A., demanding Puracal's release. Organizers claim to have gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

At the University of Washington, supporters and Jason's family will gather at Red Square at 8:00 p.m. for a candlelight vigil.

Jason's sister, Janis, recently returned from Nicaragua, where an appeals court heard Jason's case last week. The family is now awaiting a judge's decision.

"I know there's no evidence against Jason," Janis said. "I want to say I'm confident he's coming home, [but] it's hard for me to put a lot of stock in that system after two years of fighting it."

The family maintains there was never any evidence linking Jason to drugs, money or any of the other 10 defendants convicted of the crimes.

Jason's health has improved in prison, but he continues to struggle with depression and hopelessness. According to Janis, he was recently placed on suicide watch.

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