The trial took two months. The jurors took only one day to convict Renato Seabra, 23, of murder and to dismiss his claims of insanity. Despite more than twenty physicians with St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Bellevue Hospital, and the Department of Corrections agreeing that Seabra suffered from a severe mental illness, the prosecutor’s expert, who testified that Seabra was not insane at the time of the murder, swayed the jury, reports the New York Times.
For those unfamiliar with Seabra’s horrific crime, he was charged with murder after brutally beating his lover, 65-year-old Carlos Castro, to death with a computer, a wine bottle, and other objects. He also reportedly removed Castro’s testicles with a corkscrew while the victim was still alive. During the trial, testimony was presented that Seabra removed Castro’s testicles and placed them on his wrists to draw their power.
The prosecution argued that there was no insanity and that the entire plot came from a desire for revenge and from simple rage. Castro had ended the relationship and cut Seabra off financially after seeing his younger lover flirt with women in New York. Seabra had come to despise Castro as well but stayed in the relationship for financial reasons and to make contacts for his modeling career.
Prosecutors also emphasized Seabra’s conduct after the murder as evidence of his sanity. He allegedly showered, put on clean clothes, took $1,600 from Castro’s wallet, and placed a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door as he left.
In New York, the death penalty is no longer an option, no matter how gruesome the crime. Instead, for the crime of second degree murder, the minimum sentence is fifteen years to life. What that sentence means is, he is sentenced to life in prison, though he may be eligible for parole after a minimum time served of fifteen to twenty-five years, which will be determined by the judge.
- Discuss Your Case With a New York Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Insanity Defense (FindLaw’s LawBrain)
- No Murders, Shootings, Stabbings, or Slashings for an Entire Day in NYC! (FindLaw’s New York Criminal Law Blog)
- Pedro Hernandez’s Attorney Will Fight to Have Confessions Tossed (FindLaw’s New York Criminal Law Blog)