Ex-Brazilian Lawmaker Sentenced To 50-years In Prison For Murdering Husband

A former Brazilian congresswoman has been found guilty of ordering the murder of her preacher husband and has been sentenced to 50 years and 28 days in prison, bringing an end to one of the most sensational crimes in recent Brazilian history.

The celebrity gospel singer, Flordelis dos Santos de Souza, known as Flordelis, was also found guilty on Sunday, November 13, 2022, of associated crimes, including unsuccessfully attempting to poison Anderson do Carmo with cyanide at least six times before giving up and arranging his killing.

According to The Guardian UK, Do Carmo, 42, was shot multiple times in June 2019 as he returned to the gated home they shared with their dozens of children, both biological and adopted, just outside Rio de Janeiro, the capital city of Brazil.

Flordelis’s son, Flávio, was sentenced to 33 years in jail last year (2021) for pulling the trigger and his adopted brother Lucas Cezar received seven years for helping buy the murder weapon, a sentence reduced because he collaborated with police.

Four others, including one biological son and another adopted son, were given prison sentences earlier this year (2022) in a case that, with its mix of religion, celebrity and politics, made headlines around the world.

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

A judge rejected those arguments and said she was the intellectual author of the crime made to look like a robbery gone wrong.

Flordelis ordered the killing “because the victim kept a strict control of the family finances and administered conflicts rigidly, refusing to give preferential treatment to the ex-lawmaker’s closest [friends] in detriment to other members of the family,” the court said.

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

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

The couple went on to found a church together, the Ministry of Flordelis, and became famous for their huge family with 55 children, most of them adopted.

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

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

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

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