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103-year sentence in Brazil running mate murder

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) – A federal court in northeastern Brazil has sentenced a politician to 103 years in prison for killing his running mate so that he could take her place in Congress.

The court in the state of Alagoas said Thursday that a jury found Talvane de Albuquerque guilty of ordering four of his aides to kill congresswoman Ceci Cunha so that he could replace her in the lower house Chamber of Deputies.

Albuquerque was Cunha’s alternative and would have assumed her seat.

Albuquerque was also found guilty of ordering the murder of Cunha’s husband, sister-in-law and her sister’s mother-in-law.

His aides were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 75 to 105 years. Under Brazilian law, no one can serve more than 30 years in prison.

Defense attorney Welton Roberto said he will appeal.

Cunha, a congresswoman with the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, was killed in late 1998 with a single shot from a 12-gauge shotgun, police said at the time.

The shooting occurred outside Cunha’s sister’s house in the state capital of Maceio.

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