Man sentenced for role in killing of Brazilian family living in Omaha

Nov 9, 2012

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2009 deaths of a Brazilian missionary family living in Omaha has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Valdeir Goncalves-Santos was one of three Brazilian men charged with killing Vanderlei Szczepanik, his wife, Jacqueline, and their 7-year-old son, Christopher. He was sentenced on Friday in Douglas County District Court.

Goncalves-Santos pleaded guilty during his murder trial last year in exchange for his testimony against the others charged in the case.

Investigators say Goncalves-Santos told them the men beat Vanderlei Szczepanik to death and hanged his wife and son and threw the bodies in the Missouri River.

Jose Oliveira-Coutinho was convicted last month of three counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors are trying to extradite Elias Lourenco-Batista from Brazil.

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