A mother who stabbed her 17-year-old son to death for being gay has been sentenced by a jury in Brazil to 25 years and eight months in prison.
According to prosecutors, Tatiana Ferreira Lozano Pereira refused to accept that her son, Itaberli Lozano, was gay after he came out in December of 2016. As tensions between the two worsened, a fight resulted in Lozano moving in with his grandmother.
Following that argument, Pereira reportedly lured Lozano back to the family house on December 29 by claiming to want a reconciliation.
Investigators found she had actually hired two hitmen – Victor Roberto da Silva and Miller da Silva Barissa – to kill her son upon his return, reports Out.com.
When Lozano arrived to the family home, the hitmen beat the teen to teach him a lesson. They beat him but refused to kill him, so Pereira took a kitchen knife and stabbed him herself.
Then Pereira and her husband, Alex Pereira, transported the boy’s lifeless body to a cane field and set it on fire.
The remains were found a week later and required a forensic investigation to positively identify the remains.
Lozano’s uncle Dario Rosa told police that the boy “had a job, he was very polite, [and] he never quarreled with anyone. He only had problems with his mother, who did not accept that he was a homosexual.”
At trial, Pereira denied being homophobic and claimed that the arguments with her son were about him bringing men home and using drugs. She also said that her son had threatened to kill her.
Investigators uncovered evidence on social media that Pereira had hired thugs to beat her son in the days before the fatal attack, reports Out.
There have been some discrepancies in reporting around the case, making some facts difficult to determine. According to some accounts, police were notified of the boy’s disappearance by a grandmother. But other reporting indicates that the mother eventually went to police a week after the murder was committed.
In addition, although British tabloids say the hitmen refused to participate in the crime, Brazilian media indicates that they were sentenced to 21 years in prison on unspecified charges. Some reports suggest that there was a third hitman, though that may be the result of confusion over the role of the husband. Pereira is expected to appeal.