Renato Seabra’s attorney on Friday filed notice of his intent to seek a verdict of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect — a verdict that would send the accused killer to a mental institution.
Seabra’s lawyers will now have to prove at trial that the young man was so crazy, he didn’t know it was wrong to strangle, bludgeon and sever — with a corkscrew — the testicles of his older lover, Portuguese writer Carlos Castro, 65, during a raging argument at the InterContinental hotel in January.
“We filed a motion to use an affirmative defense that he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong,” defense lawyer David Touger told reporters after a brief court appearance this morning.
Castro, a gay rights activist, events organizer and journalist whose work has appeared in Portuguese media, was found dead Jan. 7, bludgeoned to death and castrated in the hotel room that the couple was sharing.
The two men were reportedly romantically involved. But Seabra has insisted that he was not gay, and told police that he attacked Castro to rid him of his “homosexual demons,”
Seabra remains in protective custody on Rikers Island, and faces a possible maximum sentence of 25 years to life if convicted.