Journalist castrated with corkscrew

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Renato Seabra, 21, appears at Manhattan Supreme court accused of killing of Portuguese celebrity TV journalist Carlos Castro, 65

A Portuguese model accused of killing a celebrity journalist in a New York hotel admitted brutally attacking him for more than an hour and castrating him with a corkscrew, prosecutors have said.

Renato Seabra also stabbed Carlos Castro in the face, slammed a computer monitor into his head and stamped on his face, Manhattan State Supreme Court was told.

Seabra, 21, remained silent during his arraignment and his lawyer entered a not-guilty plea to second-degree murder on his behalf.

Court papers presented by prosecutors described a statement police said Seabra gave after the January 7 death of Mr Castro, 65, a well-known Portuguese TV journalist, while the two were on holiday in Manhattan.

The account depicted an argument in a hotel room that turned vicious and escalated into a prolonged frenzy, with Seabra first choking his companion, then stabbing him with a corkscrew in his face and groin. Seabra also admitted to hitting Mr Castro on the head with a computer monitor and stamping on his face while wearing shoes, the papers said.

The city medical examiner said Mr Castro died of head injuries and strangulation.

Defence lawyer David Touger said after the hearing that he and his client planned a “vigorous defence” and hoped for a positive outcome. Seabra will remain in custody at Bellevue Hospital until the parties return to court on March 4 for motions.

Friends in New York have said Mr Castro and Seabra were a couple. But Seabra’s mother told Portugal’s TVIndependente television network that her son was not gay and “was not Carlos Castro’s lover”.

Seabra was a contestant last year on a Portuguese TV show called A Procura Do Sonho – Pursuit Of A Dream – which hunts for modelling talent.

He did not win the show but gained a modelling contract with an agency founded by fashion designer Fatima Lopes, who developed the show and was a judge.

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