A young man has been jailed for life for suffocating his girlfriend when she told him she was pregnant before cooking her body on a barbecue grill, and dumping the charred remains in a bin.
Naim Vera Menem, 20, was sentenced at the Penal Court Number One in the city of San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca in the Argentine province of Catamarca.
The court heard that he had shoved a rag in the mouth of his girlfriend Brenda Micaela Gordillo, 24, asphyxiating her to death after a heated argument at his family home on 1st March 2020. She was five years older than him at the time and he apparently did not want her to have a baby.
His relatives were away at the time and the couple had the property to themselves, and had argued over the fact that she was pregnant, although a subsequent autopsy on her body parts revealed that this was not the case.
Vera Menem, who claimed that he had panicked when she died after falling down the stairs, then placed her body on a grill and cooked it, hoping to get rid of any evidence by burning it to a crisp.
But it did not work and so Menem, who was 19 years old at the time, cut the body which had been blackened by the heat into two pieces. He discarded one in a rubbish container and another next to the main road.
He then called a lawyer friend and his parents to tell them what he had done, and they subsequently accompanied him to a police station where he turned himself in.
The police recovered Brenda’s body within hours of the confession and confirmed her identity through DNA testing.
During the trial, the defendant apologised to both his and the victim’s families saying: “I want to ask for forgiveness to Brenda’s mum, her family and friends. Also my family.”
Compensation of ARS 3 million (GBP 22,474) was also awarded to the victim’s family.
After the defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment, the victim’s mother Maria Espeche said: “Justice was served, it’s what this femicide deserved. He can now never go out to do more harm.”
He will not be eligible for parole for another 35 years following the sentence.
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