As the Oscar Pistorius case unfolds in South Africa, another case of a celebrity athlete and a dead girlfriend has concluded in Brazil.
Brazilian soccer player Bruno Fernandes was handed a 22-year prison sentence after being found guilty of ordering the murder of his ex-girlfriend Eliza Samudio and kidnapping their infant son in 2010.
Samudio, 25 at the time of her death, was tortured, strangled and dismembered, with her body parts then fed to dogs, according to the police reports.
The 28-year-old Fernandes, who was married to another woman, had apparently ordered the murder after Samudio demanded that he pay child support for their son.
Two men, Fernandes’ friend Luiz Henrique Ferreira Romao and former police officer Marcos Aparecido dos Santos, were also charged in the murder.
Last November, Romao was sentenced to 15 years after confessing to his involvement in the murder, but asserted that Fernandes had ordered it. Santos is yet to be sentenced.
According to the details of the case, Samudio was lured with her child to a hotel in Rio de Janeiro under the pretext of performing a paternity test in June 2010.
The two were then abducted by Romao and Santos and taken to Fernandes’ home in the city of Belo Horizonte, located about 220 miles north of the capital.
The child was discovered at the home of Fernandes’ ex-wife Dayanne Rodrigues several days after the murder took place. Rodrigues was arrested but later acquitted of involvement in the crime.
Fernandes has already been serving a four-and-a-half year sentence since December 2010 for a case of assault and kidnapping involving Samudio in 2009.
The former star goalkeeper for the Flamengo sports club in Rio de Janeiro was anticipated to play for Brazil’s national team at the 2014 World Cup, which will be hosted by his country.
Ryan Villarreal reports on foreign affairs with a focus on Latin America. He also covers human rights and environmental issues worldwide....