Gang members accused of the massacre of 10 members of the same family so they could inherit a country estate are facing trial in Brazil.
Prosecutors say the five suspects are said to have believed that if they wiped out every single heir to the GBP-320,000 estate, they would be able to take it over.
The suspects – accused of more than 100 crimes – are named as Gideon Batista de Menezes, Horacio Carlos Ferreira Barbosa, Carlomam dos Santos Nogueira, Carlos Henrique Alves da Silva, and Fabricio Silva Canhedo.
If convicted, they face up to 385 years in prison.
A teenager is also accused of participating in the mass murder and is in custody.
Civil Police say the group carried out the killings to seize the family’s money and country home – valued at BRL 2 million (GBP 320,000) – in the Federal District.
The victims have been named as hairdresser Elizamar da Silva, 39, her husband Thiago Gabriel Belchior, 30, and their children Rafael da Silva, six, Rafaela da Silva, six, and Gabriel da Silva, seven.
Thiago’s father Marcos Antonio Lopes de Oliveira, 54, was also killed, along with Marcos’s ex Claudia Regina Marques de Oliveira, 54, Thiago’s mother Renata Juliene Belchior, 52, Thiago’s sister Gabriela Belchior, 25, and 19-year-old Ana Beatriz Marques de Oliveira, who is the daughter of Claudia and Marcos.
All 10 killings took place between 28th December and 15th January.
Prosecutors say that on 28th December, members of the gang took Marcos, Renata, and Gabriela hostage. Nogueira shot Marcos in the back of the head when he tried to resist.
They gagged, blindfolded, and tied the women up before taking them away by car. They chopped Marcos’s body up and buried his remains.
On 4th January, members of the gang then kidnapped Claudia and Ana and took them to the location where they were holding Renata and Gabriela.
Then, on 12th January, the gang kidnapped the remainder of the family.
Elizamar and the children were taken away in her car before they were strangled to death and the vehicle burned.
On 14th January, Barbosa and Nogueira knifed Thiago, Claudia, and Ana to death and dumped their bodies in a cistern.
It is not clear when the trial will begin.
It was earlier reported that Thiago and Marcos had hired two of the gang to wipe out members of their family.
They had apparently ordered the killings so they could pocket their money and so Marcos could run away with his mistress.
It is not clear if police are still working with this theory.