A dad and three pals are facing murder charges for forming a lynch mob and beating to death a pensioner that his 27-year-old ex-girlfriend falsely claimed was a paedophile who had abused their two daughters.
The woman, who later admitted that she made up the story, will not face charges for the killing as she did not take part in the actual murder.
Under questioning by cops, she admitted wanting to see the old man punished because he had stopped giving her money and taken back a mobile phone that he had lent her.
She was so angry that she allegedly convinced her young children to lie to their father, claiming the OAP had abused them, resulting in him beating the old man to death with three pals.
All four, a man and a woman, are now facing trial for aggravated murder following the man’s death in the municipality of Serra, in the state of Espirito Santo, on the eastern coast of Brazil.
The victim, named by local police as Antonio Batista da Fonseca, was killed on 30th May this year but police have just concluded their investigation, revealing these damning claims against his ex, the mother of the two girls.
The OAP had been accused of raping the two girls, aged 3 and 9, but the police enquiry led by investigators from the Specialised Division of Homicide and Protection of Persons (DHPP) has ruled out that he was a child abuser.
At a press conference yesterday (Monday), Rodrigo Sandi Mori, a spokesperson for the DHPP Serra, said: “It was confirmed with absolute certainty that Antonio did not sexually abuse the two children. He died without having done anything wrong.”
Among those accused of the elderly man’s murder are Andre Luiz Alves Ferreira de Souza, 29, who is the father of the two girls, as well as his accomplices, Patrick Joe Cabrini Alvarenga, 33, and Marcia dos Santos, 31, according to local media. Those three suspects were arrested on 15th May, over two weeks after the crime was committed.
The fourth suspect, named in local media as Jocimar Lima Ferreira, 35, handed himself into police six days later, accompanied by a lawyer.
The plot that led to the elderly man’s murder was concocted by the 27-year-old woman with whom the pensioner had had a relationship for about 20 days. The woman, who was once married to Andre Luiz Alves, is the mother of the two girls.
The victim often gave his girlfriend and her children food and money but after an argument, he decided to take back a telephone that he had given her. That is allegedly why she decided to seek revenge.
Sandi Mori said that the mother convinced her children to lie to their father and claim that the victim had abused them, adding: “She even took advantage of the fact that her daughter had a rash to make up the story.”
He added: “On the day of the crime, Marcia and Jocimar (two of the four accused) were in a bar when they saw Antonio pass by.
“Jocimar held the victim and sent a photo to Andre, who told them to hold him until his arrival.
“The two cornered the victim against a wall and they attacked him with punches and kicks.
“Marcia started to incite the locals by calling Antonio a rapist. She appears in images taken on the day of the crime.”
The elderly victim’s niece, who had been on her way home with him, attempted to free him from his aggressors, but the two girls’ father then arrived on the scene.
According to Sandi Mori, “Andre arrived and launched two blows with a stick with nails at Antonio’s head, causing him to fall. Then Andre and Patrick dealt several blows until the victim died.”
The report from the police states that the two girls were examined and that no trace of abuse was found. The two girls were also spoken to by local child protection services.
The girls’ mother reportedly lied during her first statement but changed her tune when confronted with the evidence, stating that she had made up the story because she wanted revenge, according to Sandi Mori.
However, she will not be charged over the man’s death since she did not participate in his murder.
She does however face charges of slanderous denunciation.
Sandi Mori said: “It is important to emphasise that taking justice into one’s own hands is a crime, as it is up to the state and not the people, to wield the power and duty to punish.
“Furthermore, taking hasty decisions can generate serious consequences, as happened in this case, in which a 74-year-old was killed in a cowardly and brutal way without having done anything wrong,”