News

Portuguese Model To Be Sentenced For Murder Of TV Journalist

Renato Seabra

Renato Seabra (Credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Portuguese model was awaiting sentencing this weekend, after being convicted of the murder of his lover in a Manhattan hotel room.

Published reports said jurors found Renato Seabra guilty Friday of one count of first-degree murder. He faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 21, according to DNAInfo.

Castro, a Portuguese TV journalist, was found castrated and bludgeoned to death in his room at the InterContinental Hotel near Times Square on Jan. 7, 2011.

Seabra later admitted to police that he had choked Castro, stabbed him with a corkscrew in his face and groin, rammed a computer monitor into his head and stomped on his face after an argument, according to a court document. But he later pleaded not guilty and the case went to trial.

At trial, a witness testified that the week before the murder, Castro showered Seabra with gifts, handed out $100 bills as they gambled in Atlantic City, and took him on shopping trips.

Castro’s best friend, Wanda Pires, testified that she was with them that whole week and they seemed happy together, affectionate, sharing their food in restaurants.

Seabra told her Castro was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Then came the sudden breakup when Seabra decided to step out and meet girls. He allegedly told a hurt and angry Castro he was no longer gay and didn’t want to be with him.

Pires said she called Castro the day he was killed and he said he and Seabra were going home a week early and that he was afraid of Seabra.

Seabra is from Cantanhede, in central Portugal. He was a contestant last year on “A Procura Do Sonho,” or “Pursuit of a Dream,” a Portuguese TV show that hunts for modeling talent. He didn’t win but did get a modeling contract with an agency founded by fashion designer Fatima Lopes, who developed the show and was a judge on it.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)