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The Apparent Murder of Carlos Castro and Some Potential Defenses for Suspect Renato Seabra

Posted By Galluzzo & Arnone LLP || 8-Jan-2011

According to the New York Daily News, a male model named Renato Seabra is suspected of having murdered his lover, famous Portugese activist Carlos Castro, during a dispute in a Times Square Hotel.

We have no idea what Seabra’s defense or explanation will be in this matter, or whether he will ultimately even be charged. However, in our experience, people who are suspected of having intentionally murdered someone with whom they had a relationship frequently employ "mitigation defenses" rather than "absolute defenses". A defendant employs an "absolute defense," so to speak, when he claims that he did not in fact kill the deceased, that he was mentally ill (and thereby unable to understand and/or control his actions), or that he did so in justifiable self-defense. Given the allegations we have heard about the case thus far, an absolute defense seems unlikely here.

A defendant employs a "mitigation defense," on the other hand, when he acknowledges that he is criminally responsible for the death of the deceased, but that he is not guilty of the most serious applicable charge, generally Murder in the Second Degree (Penal Law Section 125.25), and is only guilty of a lesser charge such as Manslaughter in the First or Second Degrees.

To learn more about "mitigation defenses" in homicide cases, click here.

If you or a loved one have been charged with murder or manslaughter in New York, you should strongly consider contacting the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone LLP (www.gjllp.com).

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