Brazilian football star Bruno Fernandes de Souza has admitted he knew of his ex-girlfriend's murder, who was cut up and fed to dogs, but denied having any involvement in the killing.
De Souza is on trial for allegedly ordering the gruesome murder of ex-girlfriend Eliza Samudio to avoid paying her child support, according to reports in the the New York Daily News. (Update: 22 years in prison for Bruno Fernandes de Souza)
Souza told jurors that he learned about Samudio's death from his cousin, who had witnessed the killing, the paper said. (Also see: Story in pics)
Prosecutors said De Souza fathered a son with the 25-year old Samudio and then ordered goons to kill her to avoid paying child support.
The soccer star insisted he was not the one who ordered the slaying, but said that he felt guilty for her death, and his testimony was a dramatic reversal of earlier statements in which Souza said he didn't know what happened to the brunette stunner, who disappeared in June 2010 after claiming Souza fathered her baby.
The 25-year-old model was lured to a Rio de Janiero hotel on June 4 thinking she was going to take a DNA test to prove the married Flamengo football club star was the father of her son, born in February 2010, prosecutors said..
Samudio was kidnapped and taken to the star's vacation pad in the city of Belo Horizonte, more than 200 miles away, where she was strangled and dismembered by a gang of Souza's pals, authorities said.
According to media reports, Bruno Fernandes was tipped to play in the next World Cup.