Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A man has been sentenced to 82 years in prison for killing his wife and 8-month-old daughter.
The sentence was handed down at the city hall in the municipality of Paracuru in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Ceara on 1st December.
According to national newspaper G1, the 30-hour trial was the longest in state history and ended with a sentence of 82 years, 35 years for the murder of the defendant’s wife and 47 years for the murder of his daughter.
According to the official court document, the defendant, named as local entrepreneur Marcelo Barberena Moraes, was found guilty of shooting his wife Adriana Moura Pessoa de Carvalho Moraes in the head and then his daughter Jade Pessoa de Carvalho Moraes while she was sleeping at their summer house in 2015.
Witness testimonies detailed how the couple was going through a marital crisis and that the businessman was in financial difficulties.
Barberena Moraes was arrested on the day of the crime and held for almost four years until he was given habeas corpus from the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) in August last year.
The prosecuting lawyer Leandro Vasques told G1: “The condemnatory verdict was important. It does not bring Jade and Adriana back… but it certainly brings a degree of relief to the ongoing pain felt by the family.”
However, the defendant’s lawyer Nestor Santiago said: “The defence deeply regrets not only the decision of the majority of the jurors but also the exaggerated penalty that was applied to Mr Marcelo Barberena Moraes. Judicial measures are already being taken in response.”
According to G1, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the crime despite reportedly having confessed to killing his wife and daughter four times to police officers, although he later claimed he was physically coerced into doing so.
According to his statement, Barberena Moraes said they were both dead when he woke up and he did not hear the gunshots.
Barberena was immediately taken into custody and can now choose to appeal the verdict from prison.
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