A former Brazilian deputy guilty of having ordered the murder of her husband | Brazil

A former Brazilian MP has been found guilty of ordering the murder of her preacher husband and sentenced to 50 years and 28 days in prison, ending one of the the most sensational crimes in Brazil’s recent history.

Famed gospel singer Flordelis dos Santos de Souza, known as Flordelis, was also found guilty on Sunday of related crimes, including unsuccessfully trying to poison Anderson do Carmo with cyanide at least six times before he died. give up and organize his murder.

Do Carmo, 42, was shot multiple times in June 2019 as he returned to the gated home they shared with their dozens of children – biological and adopted – just outside Rio de Janeiro.

Flordelis’ son Flávio was sentenced to 33 years in prison last year for pulling the trigger and his adoptive brother Lucas Cezar got seven years for helping buy the murder weapon, a reduced sentence because he collaborated with the police.

Four others, including a biological son and another adopted son, were sentenced to prison earlier this year in a case that – with its mixture of religion, celebrity and politics – has made headlines around the world.

At last week’s trial, lawyers for Flordelis argued that she had no knowledge of the crime committed by people who wanted to protect her from alleged sexual and physical abuse by the evangelical preacher.

A judge rejected those arguments and said she was the intellectual perpetrator of the crime resembling a robbery gone wrong.

Flordelis ordered the killing ‘because the victim kept tight control of the family’s finances and rigidly administered disputes, refusing to give preferential treatment to relatives of the ex-legislator [friends] to the detriment of other family members,” the court said.

Flordelis’ co-defendant, her daughter Simone Rodrigues, was sentenced to 31 years, four months and 20 days for her part in the attempted murder of Do Carmo. Two of Flordelis’ other children and a granddaughter were acquitted of murder and attempted murder.

Flordelis, 61, was born and raised in Jacarezinho, a sprawling favela in Rio where she began her singing career in the 1990s and met Do Carmo, who was 16 years her junior, when he was at the start of his adolescence.

The couple then founded a church together – the Flordelis Ministry – and became famous for their large family with 55 children, most of them adopted.

Thousands of people attended the empire of nine churches where Flordelis sang, and she appeared on television as an example of a devoted mother.

She turned that fame into a seat in Congress in 2018, winning more votes than any other candidate in Rio and joining the new government of then far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

But investigators said shortly after taking the seat, she began plotting Do Carmo’s removal. She was stripped of her parliamentary immunity in June 2021, paving the way for her trial.

Barry F. Howard