The Court of Portimão, on 27 April sentenced Maria Malveiro to 25 years in prison for murder while Mariana Fonseca was sentenced to four years in prison for her part in the crime but was absolved of murder.
Mariana Fonseca has now been released from preventive detention and is now waiting for the final decision in the case.
The president of the collective that judged the case said that the court was able to prove that Maria Malveiro killed Diogo Gonçalves, although it was unable to prove the participation in the murder of the other defendant, Mariana Fonseca.
Mariana Fonseca was convicted of the crimes of the desecration of a corpse and co-authorship of fraud and was handed a four year sentence for these crimes.
Maria Malveiro was however convicted of the crimes of qualified homicide, co-authorship of body desecration, theft, illegal access, fraud, vehicle theft, and possession of an illegal weapon, which resulted in her being sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison – the maximum penalty. Maria Malveiro was also ordered to pay compensation of €265,396 to Diogo Gonçalves’ father.
After the defendants had presented different versions of the crime throughout the process, the court decided that the first version of events was considered to be the one closest to the truth, in which Maria confessed to being the one responsible for the crime of homicide.
According to the judgement, 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 when he suffered the blow and he was strangled and asphyxiated”.
The court expressed its conviction that the women’s plan was only to steal the money and that "it did not include the death of Diogo Gonçalves".
The court also mentioned that the fact that Mariana tried to revive the victim after Maria hit him removes any intention to kill him. However, with regard to the desecration of the corpse and withdrawal of €400 cash, the court did not have any doubts that Mariana participated in the crime.
After the trial, Mariana left the court from the backside, where her father was waiting for her, who was present at all hearings, without either of them making statements to the journalists. Mariana’s lawyer still says they are likely to appeal the decision.
The defendants were accused of homicide and dismemberment of the body, which was then disposed of in the Forte de Sagres and in Pego do Inferno. The crime was allegedly motivated by the prospect of stealing the €70,000 compensation that the victim had received following the death of his mother. The young man, according to the evidence in the trial, had been “in love” with Maria Malveiro with whom he maintained a friendly relationship.