A Portuguese fashion journalist who was bludgeoned, strangled and castrated by his underwear model was ‘in love’.
Renato Seabra, 21, also Portuguese, is currently on trial for the brutal murder of his partner, Carlos Castro, 65, which was carried out on 7 January 2011 as the pair vacationed in New York.
Seabra, an aspiring underwear model, is accused of hitting Castro over the head with a television in their Times Square hotel room before smashing him in the face with a wine bottle and then castrating him alive with a corkscrew.
In the most recent twist of the ongoing trial, the victim’s close friend, Wanda Pires, told a Manhattan jury that the lovers seemed delighted with each other at first.
Prosecutors are using Pires’s testimony to show the couple had been happy until the day before the murder.
Pires, the first witness in the trial, told the court: ‘It was the best thing that ever happened in his life. They were just happy.’
The New York Post reported she claims the cooing lovebirds would even feed each other at dinner when out for lavish meals.
‘Everytime they went to eat they were sharing food with each other…very friendly, very happy. Very normal relationship.’
‘Renato was very overprotective of Carlos, always behind him looking what he is doing, caring, pleasant,’ she testified.
‘Renato is alway smiling, always had a smile on his face.’
Pires said that Castro’s behavior was the same.
Defence lawyers are trying to show Seabra mentally snapped as the pair argued for over an hour in their room in the InterContinental hotel.
Despite admitting he loved Castro, Seabra told officials he had begun to second guess his homosexuality but agreed to accompany Castro on the trip anyway.
After learning this, Castro seemed understanding and promised to cut their vacation short but Seabra became enraged when it seemed Castro had gone back on his word, the detective testified.
Seabra told doctors he severed Castro’s testicles in an attempt to remove the ‘evil’ of homosexuality and prevent the ‘virus’ from spreading.
Seabra then applied them to his own slit wrists so that he could ‘harness their power.’
Detectives said: ‘He states he was enraged and could not control the virus of the spread of homosexuality to the world.’
Pires added that there was never any talk of the ‘evil’ or ‘demons’ that Seabra claims and said she only learnt of the problems they were having the night before the murder.
‘They are both mad, with the face,’ she said, pulling a long face on the witness stand.
‘Renato told him that he is not gay anymore,’ and that he would rather pleasure himself than be with the older man.
Seabra told officials that ‘Cutting off his testicles, that would make everything in the world right.’
If Seabra convinces a jury he’s not responsible by reason of insanity, he’ll be sent indefinitely to a locked psych facility. If he fails to, he’ll serve a possible maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison for murder.
The trial continues.