Rio rages against accused ‘gold digging’ widow – World – theage.com.au
POLICE have arrested the young widow of a multimillionaire lottery winner while prosecutors decide whether to charge her with his killing, a crime that has gripped the country and generated public fury against a woman viewed as a ruthless gold digger.
Ms Almeida, 29, was the girlfriend of Mr Senna, a former subsistence farmer and butcher before he became rich. Mr Senna, who had part of both legs amputated because of diabetes, got around town in a motorised cart.
In July 2005, 54 year-old Mr Senna was the sole winner of a national lottery worth the equivalent of about $A30 million. He bought a sprawling ranch in Rio Bonito, a rural town 75 kilometres north-east of Rio, and married Ms Almeida.
Mr Senna’s family accused Ms Almeida of pressuring Mr Senna to change his will, removing 11 brothers and sisters as potential beneficiaries. Mr Senna wrote a new will leaving the money only to Ms Almeida and a daughter, Renata.
On January 7, two hooded men on a motorcycle pulled up to a bar in Rio Bonito where Mr Senna usually went for a beer, eight kilometres from his ranch. He was shot four times in the head, and the men sped away.
Five days later, Ms Almeida was summoned to a police interrogation and swore she was innocent. A furious crowd surrounded the police station in Rio Bonito and reportedly tried to lynch her. Police dispersed the crowd by firing into the air.
She has denied local media reports that she had affairs with other men.
“I’m innocent. What they’re doing to me is cowardice,” she told Rio’s O Globo newspaper after her arrest.