The mother of escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante has broken her silence, claiming her son is just trying to survive, even going so far as to blame his victims for their respective deaths.
In an interview with The New York Times (NYT), Iracema Cavalcante revealed her fugitive son was trained for survival after his poor upbringing in rural Brazil.
“His training was his suffering. It was going to sleep hungry. It was waking up as I wondered what to feed them,” she stated.
Cavalcante’s mother explained her son never attended school but worked instead to help support the family by shining shoes and selling vegetables during his younger years and later working in the fields, per The NYT.
“We’re poor. We’re humble. But we’re workers. What we have, we fought to get,” she told The NYT.
Cavalcante stabbed former girlfriend Deborah Brandao 38 times in front of her two children in April 2021 in what Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan called “the most heinous crime imaginable.”
“He did this in front of her two young children who will have to live with that horrific trauma for the rest of their lives,” Ryan declared upon Cavalcante’s conviction.
Prosecutors stated Cavalcante brutally murdered Brandao because she had learned he was wanted in Brazil for murder and threatened to contact the authorities. (RELATED: ICE Officials Arrest Escaped Murderer’s Sister As He Attempts To Contact Two Former Co-Workers, Police Say)
Though his mother acknowledged her son’s guilt in murdering two people, Cavalcante, she argued, had only done so because he was cornered and felt he had no other choice, according to The NYT.
“Did it happen? It happened,” Cavalcante’s mother said of Brandao’s murder. “But it happened because of the stranglehold she put on him, the stance she took with him,” she contended.
“It wasn’t femicide. He had to. He had no other choice,” she stated.
Ms. Cavalcante further argued the murder her son committed in Brazil was done because his victim had threatened him first, according to The NYT.
“If I said my son didn’t make a mistake, I’d be lying. I know what my son did was wrong. I know my son should pay for his mistake. But I want my son to pay for his mistake with dignity. Not to pay with his life,” she stated.
Cavalcante’s mother lamented over the life sentence her son faces upon his re-capture, stating perhaps it would be better for him to die rather than suffer in jail.
“Today, I see my son as dead in a strange place, trampled, everyone lying about him, saying he’s something that he’s not.” she said, according to The NYT.
Cavalcante added rather than plea for her son to turn himself in, she hopes “he asks God to forgive him for what he did.”