US jury convicts would-be male model of veteran journalist’s murder

Carlos Castro's gruesome killing occurred after he asked to end the pair’s love affair

Madrid -

A Portuguese man who had been in custody for nearly two years in New York in connection with the bloody killing of a well-known Portuguese journalist and society columnist for Correio da Manhã, was found guilty late Friday by a jury who convicted him on second-degree murder charges.

Renato Seabra, 23, faces between 25 years to life in prison when he is due to be sentenced on December 21.

Because of the nature of journalist Carlos Castro's gruesome murder, his celebrity status back home, and the killer's ambitions to became a male model, the two-month trial at Manhattan Supreme Court attracted journalists from both sides of the Atlantic.

The 65-year-old Castro, who was a homosexual rights activist in Portugal, was found beaten to death with his scrotum cut off at a New York hotel on January 7, 2011. Seabra, who pleaded insanity, admitted in court that he pulled out Castro's testicles with a corkscrew.

Prosecutor Maxine Rosenthal said Seabra killed Castro because the journalist wanted to end their three-month affair and refused to pay for his high-flying lifestyle. She said that Seabra, who is from Cantanhede, slashed his own wrists but then washed them in the bathroom, gelled his hair, and went to the hospital where he was arrested.

Seabra gained some fame in Portugal after appearing a few years ago on the reality TV show A Procura Do Sonho (Pursuit of a Dream).

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