He used his lover’s testicles as a talisman.
Renato Seabra, a Portuguese male model, said he was so tortured by his May-December romance with Carlos Castro that he beat him to death, castrated him with a corkscrew, then wore the dead man’s manhood on his arms to harness what he believed was its healing powers, his defense lawyer said at Friday’s opening of the murder trial.
“He put one on each wrist,” said lawyer Rubin Sinins said. “He did this for his protection. He could also harness the power. He wandered the streets of Manhattan, touching people, because he had the power to cure people from AIDS, because he had the power to cure them.”
Seabra, 21, killed his 65-year-old lover — a noted Portuguese society journalist and gay activist — in a sudden psychotic onset, said the lawyer.
“He willingly told police. He wanted to explain why he killed Mr. Castro, because he thought what he had done was right.”
Sinins asked the jury to return a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, with the possibility of being committed to a psychiatric facility.
Manhattan prosecutors countered that the young man was just a temperamental gold digger who knew his gravy train was coming to an end. Castro was supposed be Seabra’s meal ticket, flying him to the Big Apple in Jan. 2011 with the promise of getting him work through a Manhattan modeling agency, prosecutors said.
“He wanted to pursue a career in modeling,” said Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal. “He want to be famous and make money. He also wanted nice things — clothes, electronics, gifts for his family. He wanted to eat in nice restaurants. When Carlos Castro showed up in Renato Seabra’s life, he saw a means to an end and he got on board.”
But as the trip wore on, Castro grew weary of opening up his wallet for the young beauty, especially after he caught him stepping out with a group of women.
Seabra tried to wheedle his way back into his benefactor’s favor, but Castro booked his young lover a flight to leave early — clearly indicating the fling was over, Rosenthal said in opening statements.
The two had a terrible fight on the afternoon of Jan. 7 over the break up, prosecutors said. Seabra beat the older man over the head with a computer monitor and then repeatedly stomped him until he was dead.
“This anger came from the end of a relationship with Carlos Castro,” Rosenthal said. “He knew he was beating, stomping and mutilating Carlos Castro. And he knew it was wrong.”