01/29/2012 01:46 EST | Updated 03/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Mexican Beating Suspect Faces 14 Years In Prison


A Mexican man arrested in connection with the brutal beating of Canadian tourist Sheila Nabb at a five-star resort could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities trotted out Jose Ramon Acosta Quintero at a news conference on Saturday, where he spoke to reporters in both English and Spanish. In a statement to authorities, Quintero admitted attacking Nabb in an elevator at the Mazatlan resort where she was staying with her husband last weekend.

Quintero said police had shown him a security camera video of him leaving the elevator, but he denied it showed him kicking Nabb. He said he may have been using his foot to move her hand out of the door so it would close.

The 28-year-old was arrested Friday near his home and is being held at a local police station under "round-the-clock supervision," said Martin Gastelum Zepeda, a spokesperson with the attorney general's office in Sinaloa state.

Quintero has been charged with attempted murder by police but has yet to appear before a judge, Zepeda said. He is scheduled to make a court appearance Monday morning and could face between eight and 14 years in prison if convicted, Zepeda confirmed on Sunday.

Quintero said he had been drinking and had been using cocaine prior to his encounter with Nabb, according to a statement delivered in Spanish and reported in English by a translator.

Blood-stained clothes seized

State attorney Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez said Friday the arrest came about after police identified a suspect through a blood sample. Investigators found blood-stained clothes and sandals at Quintero's home, Zepeda said.

Nabb, 37, is now in a Calgary hospital fighting pneumonia and recuperating from severe facial injuries after being flown home via air ambulance.

Due to her medical condition, Mexican investigators were unable to speak with Nabb, originally from Nova Scotia, before she was flown to Canada on Thursday.

"The victim could not identify the suspect," Gomez said Friday. "She was transported with injuries to the chin and jaw bone while under sedation."

Her uncle, Robert Prosser, said the family is relieved Nabb is back in the country but is struggling to understand why anyone would attack her.

"She's just the nicest person you would ever want to meet. I mean everybody that met her liked her," Prosser has said.

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Jose Ramon Acosta Quintero