- Last Updated: 9:16 AM, December 1, 2012
- Posted: 1:23 AM, December 1, 2012
A Manhattan murder jury yesterday convicted a Portuguese underwear model of bludgeoning and then castrating his sugar daddy with a corkscrew in their Times Square hotel room last year.
It took just over a day for the six-man, six-woman jury to reach a verdict in the lurid case and reject the insanity defense of boy toy from hell Renato Seabra.
The lithe, ivory-complected Seabra was only 21 when he admittedly strangled and beat his lover, Carlos Castro, a wealthy and influential Portuguese fashion writer who at 65 was three times his killer’s age.
The young gigolo admitted ripping open the dying man’s scrotum with a corkscrew, slitting his own wrists, and then applying the testicles to his own bleeding arms so he could “harness their power,” as he’d told shrinks.
“Justice was made,” the victim’s sister, Maria Amelia Castro, of Cascais, Portugal, said afterward, adding that she hoped her brother’s murderer would get “prison for life.”
For Castro’s niece, it was the hair gel that convinced her that Seabra was cunning, not cracked. Seabra had turned up at a hospital an hour after leaving the blood-splattered hotel room, wearing his best suit, with his hair neatly pomaded.
If you’re really crazy, “You don’t have to take a shower, put gel in your hair,” the niece, said Carla Castro Serra, of South Plainfield, NJ.
Seabra had absented himself from the courtroom during the final days of the trial, but re-appeared at the defense table for the late afternoon verdict, wearing dark jeans and a rumpled tan fleece jacket, his hair newly shaved.
He showed no emotion, but began blinking rapidly when the verdict of guilty of a single count of murder in the second degree was read aloud by a weeping jury forewoman at 4:15 p.m. Seabra’s mother, too, showed no emotion as she sat, her coat bundled tightly around her, in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Justice Daniel FitzGerald set Dec. 21 for sentencing. Seabra can get nywhere from the mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years to life, up to the maximum allowed by state law — 25 years to life in prison.
The two doomed lovers had been vacationing in New York from their native Portugal when they began arguing bitterly, witnesses who’d spoken to Castro in the days before the murder told jurors over the course of two months of testimony.
Seabra’s fatal attack — spurred by the older man’s decision to end the relationship — stretched over the course of hours, medical and forensic testimony established.
Defense lawyers had argued to jurors that the sheer overkill scope of the assault proved Seabra had suffered a psychotic break from reality.
Seabra told doctors that as Castro lay naked on the carpeting of their room at the InterContinental hotel — still breathing, bleeding, and frothing at the mouth — he used the corkscrew to rip out the man’s testicles.
Castro had become a “monster” to him, he’d told shrinks, and “The power of the monster was in the balls,” he explained of his grotesque mutilation of the likely unconscious man.
But prosecutor Maxine Rosenthal convinced jurors that Seabra had attacked out of fury and revenge. Seabra had been enjoying Castro’s pricey gifts and modeling connections, and was enraged when Castro broke off the relationship, she told jurors.
If Seabra was truly delusional during the murder, he wouldn’t have disabled the hotel room phone, drawn shut the curtains, stolen Castro’s cash and put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door before leaving, she said.