The Portuguese man, originally from Santa Maria da Feira, was found guilty of shooting his wife and eldest son, on April 25, 2018, after a violent argument in the victim’s home. He has now been sentenced to life imprisonment and to pay compensation of around 60,000 Swiss francs for moral damages to the victim’s family.
The Renens Court of Coercive Measures and Sentences Enforcement also ordered the defendant’s expulsion from Switzerland for 15 years, as provided for in the Penal Code.
The Public Ministry described the man as being a jealous, possessive and selfish husband who, after being abandoned by his wife, planned the murders.
“This was a planned crime”, concluded the Public Ministry, stating that the murder weapon was inside his vehicle, duly loaded and with additional ammunition, on the afternoon when the murderer went to his wife’s apartment.
Faced with the accusations, the man continued to deny having gone on the night of the crime to his wife’s apartment, from whom he had been separated for about a year, with the intention to kill her.
According to the defendant, the murder weapon had been in the boot of the car for a few months as he had been planning on going to the shooting range when he had free time.
The court sentenced the man, in addition to life imprisonment, to pay a total of about 240,000 Swiss francs in damages. The amount includes compensation for moral damages to the victim’s family and legal expenses for the victims’ lawyers.
According to the prosecutor’s allegations, the defendant’s statements of facts changed throughout the investigation. Initially, the emigrant denied the abuse of his wife, as well as the conflicting relationship he had with his children, especially with the eldest, aged 18, who defended his mother whenever there was physical or verbal aggression.
The Public Ministry found, taking into account the numerous testimonies of the two children, that physical and psychological aggressions were regular.
Police reports contain several episodes of domestic violence, and the victim’s last complaint was registered just months before the crime, when the man broke her nose.
At that time, the victim’s children were heard and stated that the father was aggressive and jealous and the couple’s arguments were frequent.
The couple’s relationship deteriorated further with the woman’s departure from the home.
The father of the family insistently called and controlled the woman, threatening her several times with death in messages.
The accused was described by the Public Ministry as an extremely “selfish” individual, who at no time showed regret for the “atrocious” act he committed.
Police were able to read aggressive messages sent to the wife thanks to the seizure of his phone. In these messages, he accused his wife of adultery and of not letting him see their children, reiterating that if she continued, he would kill her.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office ruled out the possibility of hospitalisation or therapeutic measures, as the individual was aware of his actions and did not reveal any psychological disorder.
“He prepared himself for the act he would commit. He was determined to kill,” they concluded.
The bricklayer, who has lived in Switzerland since 2006, had denied on trial that he had gone to the woman’s apartment on the night of the crime to kill her.