Yesterday, the Portimão Court passed sentence on the women accused of killing 21 year old Diogo Gonçalves, in March last year.
In reading the judgment, the president of the panel that judged the case said that the court proved that Maria Malveiro killed Diogo Gonçalves, but were unable to prove the participation in the murder of the other defendant, Mariana Fonseca.
The court therefore decided to sentence Maria Malveiro to 25 years in prison, and Mariana Fonseca to four years, decreeing her immediate restitution to freedom, since the crimes attributed to her are not likely to constitute detention.
Mariana Fonseca, a 24-year-old nurse, and Maria Malveiro, a 20-year-old security guard, were accused of the crimes of qualified homicide, desecration of a corpse, illegitimate access, computer fraud, simple theft and use of a vehicle.
The collective's judges agreed to "convict Maria Malveiro on a legal basis for all the crimes she was accused of, resulting in a single sentence of 25 years in prison", explained the collective's chief judge, Antonieta do Nascimento.
The court found that Maria Malveiro was the perpetrator of a felony of qualified homicide, for which she was sentenced to 23 years in prison, a crime in co-authorship of desecration of a corpse (two years), a crime of theft (two years), two crimes illegitimate access (20 months, ten months for each of the crimes) and a crime of computer fraud and communications in continuous form (two years), a crime of using and stealing a vehicle (one year) and a crime of detention of prohibited weapon (two years).
The defendant was ordered to pay an indemnity of 265,396 Euros to Diogo Gonçalves' father, of which 150,396 Euros of property damage and 115,000 Euros of non-property damage.
Mariana Fonseca, on the other hand, was sentenced to a single sentence of four years of effective imprisonment for co-authoring a crime of desecrating a corpse (one year and 10 months), computer and communications fraud (one year and six months) and crime of embezzlement (one year and six months).
The nurse was also ordered to pay 350 Euros in compensation to Diogo Gonçalves' father.
The collective understood that the death of Diogo Gonçalves, caused by asphyxiation, resulted from a plan outlined by the defendants to seize the money that the victim had received in compensation for the death of his mother, run over in 2016, in the Albufeira area.
The court expressed its conviction that the women's plan was only to seize the compensation money Diogo had received for the death of his mother, run over in 2016, in the Albufeira area, and that “it did not include the death of Diogo Gonçalves”.
According to the ruling, the victim suffered "moments of great suffering and pain" before he died, as he was fully aware of what was happening, "during the period of time in which the victim was strangled and asphyxiated twice".
The court's conviction as to the defendants' guilt was based on the totality of the evidence produced and interpreted by the scientific evidence of the police, and documentary evidence and statements made by the defendants to the investigating judge in the first judicial interrogation.
Questioned by journalists at the exit of the Portimão court, lawyer João Grade, defending Mariana Fonseca, admitted that "there is a very high probability" of appealing the judicial decision.
"There are matters that give grounds to appeal," pointed out the lawyer, reiterating "the lack of evidence" for a conviction of his defendant.
Lawyer Tânia Reis, a defender of Maria Malveiro, declined to comment on the ruling that sentenced her client to the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
See previous coverage:
September 28th 2020 - Young Portuguese Man Dismembered For His Money
February 24th 2021 - The trial of the two young women who beheaded and dismembered a boy begins
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/