Distressing final moments before woman, 29, thrown from balcony

·2-min read

A university lecturer has been sentenced to 31 years in prison for strangling his wife to death and throwing her body from their fourth-floor balcony in one of Brazil's most high-profile murder trials of recent years.

Following a seven-day trial, Luis Felipe Manvailer was sentenced to 31 years, nine months and 18 days in prison for homicide and obstruction of justice on Monday (local time).

A jury of seven men found him guilty of killing his wife of five years, Tatiane Spitzner, whose body was found inside the couple's apartment in the Brazilian municipality of Guarapuava in July 2018.

Tatiane Spitzner is seen in elevator CCTV footage trying to escape her husband, Luis Felipe Manvailer.
CCTV shows Tatiane Spitzner trying to run away from husband Luis Felipe Manvailer who was sentenced over her death. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

Witnesses attest to seeing Ms Spitzner lying in a pool of blood on the pavement beneath the couple's fourth-floor balcony and Manvailer subsequently taking her body back inside their apartment building.

The biology professor, then aged 32, was arrested following a traffic accident more than 320 kilometres from the crime scene hours later.

He told police, who believed he was trying to flee to Paraguay, his wife had jumped to her death.

However, the autopsy carried out on the 29-year-old lawyer's body gave the cause of death as mechanical asphyxia.

Tatiane Spitzner is pictured in a black and white floral outfit. Her cause of death was mechanical asphyxia.
Ms Spitzner died of mechanical asphyxia, according to the autopsy. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

Security camera footage recorded inside the couple's apartment building also showed Ms Spitzner trying to run away from her husband in the garage and the professor restraining his wife in the lift shortly before the crime took place.

Manvailer's preventive detention was ordered, and he has since spent two years and nine months in a prison in Guarapuava.

The judge, Adriano Scussiato Eyng, also ordered the defendant to pay BRL 100,000 (A$24,380) in compensation to the victim's parents.

Tatiane Spitzner pictured with Luis Felipe Manvailer, both holding up wine glasses.
Ms Spitzner's (right) husband, Manvailer (left), was sentenced to more than 31 years in prison. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

The victim's family's lawyer, Gustavo Scandelari, has said he considers the verdict a milestone in the fight against femicide.

It had taken years for the trial to go ahead as it had been postponed numerous times due to appeals from the suspect's lawyer and complications due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Manvailer's lawyer Claudio Dalledone has said he will appeal the sentence.

– Australscope

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