New York – A prosecution psychiatrist says a 22-year-old Portuguese model accused of castrating and murdering a famous Portuguese TV personality in a Manhattan hotel would have known the difference between right and wrong at the time of the killing, according to The Associated Press.
The finding increases the chances that Renato Seabra will stand trial though the news agency said he may still pursue an insanity defense.
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The body of Carlos Castro, a noted gay rights advocate who was reportedly Seabra’s lover, was found in January last year in pool of blood inside the InterContinental hotel in Times Square. He had been bludgeoned in the head and his had been scrotum cut off, The Daily News reported at the time.
According to the AP, Seabra later told police that following an argument he had throttled his alleged victim, stabbing him in the face and groin with a corkscrew, beating him in the head with a computer and stamping on his face. He said he then showered and wandered in New York before traveling to a hospital, according to the news agency.
A defense lawyer, David Touger, said his client had suffered a “manic episide” and that six doctors had examined Seabra that night and found his mental state was such that he could not tell right from wrong.
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A prosecution expert has disagreed, even though the detailed conclusions have not been made public, according to the AP, which has said Seabra’s mental fitness to stand trial is not in dispute.
If convicted, Seabra could be jailed for life. An insanity defense in New York State entails demonstrating to a jury that the defendant’s mind was so disturbed at the time of a crime that he or she could not exercise responsibility for his or her actions.
The Daily News also reported that police say Castro had told a friend that he was growing increasingly frightened of Seabra.
He was cremated in January 2011, the month of his murder, and his ashes were scattered into a sidewalk subway vent in Times Square, according to The News.