Bruno captained Flamengo to the 2009 Brazilian League title.
Fair warning: this story might make you sick to your stomach.
Brazilian goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes has been given a second chance to play professional soccer while in prison. That’s not a joke: he has apparently signed a five-year contract with Montes Claros of the Campeonato Mineiro.
You may remember Bruno. Two years ago, the former Flamengo captain was put on trial, accused of ordering the kidnapping and murder of his ex-girlfriend Eliza Samudio — whose body was allegedly fed to dogs — and holding their son hostage. Last March, Bruno confessed and was sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison. Investigators said he had ordered Samudio’s killing to avoid paying child support.
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According to Brazilian law, a felon may be allowed some freedom after three or four years, depending on his behavior in prison. (Bruno has, in fact, been in jail since July 2010, when he was convicted of ordering another, earlier abduction of Samudio.) Brazil has a maximum prison sentence of 30 years under statutory law.
The terms of Bruno’s release from jail in order to attend Montes Claros training sessions and matches will be determined by a Brazilian judge. The controversial move was confirmed by the club’s president, Ville Mocellin.
From OTempo.com.br (translated by Google):
"We want to give an opportunity to the man Bruno," he said, adding that the possible arrival of athletes is an opportunity for both parties. "For him, it is a chance to return to play. To the club, he is an athlete who can strengthen the team and a way to invest in the social side."
Mocellin’s nod to the “social side” is reference to Brazil’s controversial “resocialization” program, where prisoners are allowed out of jail during daylight hours in an attempt to pave the way for their return to society after they serve their sentences. The club added that Bruno would play and train under police escort.