Danelo Cavalcante’s mother has spoken out in defence of her murder convict son nearly two weeks after he escaped from a prison in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Cavalcante’s mother Iracema Cavalcante said in an interview with The New York Times that she believes her son is better off dead than spending the rest of his life behind bars over the April 2021 murder of his former girlfriend Deborah Brandao.
“If it’s to go to a place to suffer and die in that place, it’s better to die soon,” Ms Cavalcante told the Times on Tuesday. “You don’t have to suffer so much.”
Ms Cavalante acknowledged that her son brutally killed his former ex-girlfriend in front of her young children but claimed that he only did it because he felt cornered.
“Did it happen? It happened,” Ms Cavalcante told the Times. “But it happened because of the stranglehold she put on him, the stance she took with him … It wasn’t femicide. He had to, he had no other choice.”
The brutal nature of Brandao’s killing was on full display during Cavalcante’s trial last month. Prosecutors said he stabbed Brandao 40 times in front of her young children and then proceeded to threaten the minors.
Ms Cavalcante had previously recorded a message asking his son to surrender, which authorities then blasted into his previous hiding place from helicopters and patrol cars. She has now said that if she had another chance to communicate with her son, she would tell him to God to “forgive him for what he did.”
“If I said my son didn’t make a mistake, I’d be lying,” Ms Calvacante said. “I know what my son did was wrong. I know my son should pay for his mistake. But I want my son to pay for his mistake with dignity. Not to pay with his life.”
This is a developing story … check again for updates.