Portuguese Model Convicted of Murdering His Older Lover
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — After just a day of deliberation, a jury found Renato Seabra, a Portuguese model accused of killing and castrating his older lover, guilty of one count of second degree murder Friday.
Jurors had spent hours during the nearly two-month trial hearing gruesome descriptions of the night Seabra was accused of bashing 63-year-old journalist Carlos Castro's head with a computer screen, stomping on his face, strangling him and castrating him with a corkscrew in their InterContinental hotel room on West 44th Street in January 2011.
The two men, who met through Facebook, had traveled together to New York from their native Portugal.
Seabra's legal team had repeatedly argued that the underwear model, 22 at the time, suffered a psychotic episode and should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
“He was suffering from a psychotic delusion,” one of Seabra's lawyers, David Touger, told he jury during closing arguments earlier this week. “He did not understand the wrongfulness of his actions.”
Touger said more than 20 doctors had diagnosed Seabra, who previously had no history of mental illness, with bipolar disorder.
Seabra calmly told police of his horrific actions soon after the crime, according to court records. He told cops he was "making the world a better place" by killing Castro, and castrated him to get rid of the "virus" of homosexuality.
He said Castro's genitals were "demons" that needed to be severed to make "everything right with the world."
He also took a shower after the attack, put on a suit, slit his wrists and then walked the streets of New York to continue "God’s mission," his lawyers have said.
Seabra believed murdering Castro was "the right thing to do," because of his "manic break," according to his legal team.
Prosecutors, however, argued that Seabra killed Castro in a fit of rage, afraid that his boyfriend, who lavished him with expensive gifts, was breaking up with him.
“This was a brutal and sadistic crime, where Renato Seabra bludgeoned, choked and mutilated his victim before murdering him,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement. “But the jury’s verdict now, finally, holds Seabra accountable. It is particularly tragic that Carlos Castro not only was betrayed by his spurned lover, but met a very painful and violent end far from his home. "
Seabra is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 21. He faces 25 years to life in prison.