Main | Thursday, July 05, 2012

NEW YORK CITY: Murderer Pleads Insanity In Grisly 2011 Killing Of His Boyfriend

In January 2011 New York City's tabloids published daily grisly updates in the case of Portuguese model Renato Seabra, who stabbed to death and then castrated his wealthy and renowned fashion photographer boyfriend with a wine corkscrew in a midtown hotel. Seabra told the NYPD at the time that he had murdered Carlos Castro in order to free him of his "homosexual demons" and that he himself was "not gay anymore." Yesterday Seabra's lawyer pleaded an insanity defense. A 2011 court filing from the defense advised the court that Seabra believed that he was acting on direct orders from God. Via Gay City News reporter Duncan Osborne:
“Mr. Seabra developed a manic episode and became fulminantly psychotic,” David Touger, the attorney for Renato Seabra, wrote in a court filing last year. “He acted on his delusional ideas when he attacked and killed Mr. Castro. He did not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions, as he was acting as a conduit for God.” This mental disease or defect defense, or insanity defense as it is more commonly known, asserts that because the now 22-year-old Seabra could not tell right from wrong when he killed Castro, he cannot be held criminally liable. If a jury agrees, Seabra will be institutionalized until doctors decide he is no longer a threat. His trial may start as soon as September. At a June 18 hearing, Touger and Maxine Rosenthal, the assistant district attorney who is prosecuting the case, said they wanted to go to trial soon. While some earlier press reports have noted that Seabra would use an insanity defense, none has noted that he claimed to be acting on God’s behalf. Seabra faces one second-degree murder count that alleges he intended to kill Castro. The maximum penalty for second-degree murder is 25-years-to-life.
According to a psychologist hired by the defense, Seabra suffered from "Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Severe with Psychotic features." Seabra first came to national fame in Portugal after appearing on a male model reality show.

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