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Brazilian lottery winner's widow arrested

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Brazilian lottery winner's widow arrested
By PETER MUELLO

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) - 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.

Brazilian newspapers on Wednesday ran front-page photos of Adriana Almeida, wearing a tight T-shirt and wraparound designer sunglasses, being escorted to jail from a hotel in a luxury seaside community near Rio.

The former hairdresser, who married Renne Senna, 54, after he hit the jackpot, was greeted by cries of "Tramp!" and "Murderer!" as she arrived Tuesday at the lockup. Police spokesman Marcele Mendes said she will be held for at least 30 days,

During that time, prosecutors will evaluate the police investigation and determine whether to ask a judge to charge Almeida. Globo TV reported Wednesday that police are also looking for four men suspected of involvement in the killing.

Almeida, 29, was the girlfriend of Senna, a former subsistence farmer and butcher, before he became rich. Senna, who had part of both legs amputated because of diabetes, got around town on a special, motorized four-wheel cart.

In July 2005, Senna was the sole winner of a national lottery worth the equivalent of about C$28 million.

He bought a sprawling ranch in Rio Bonito, a rural town 75 kilometres northeast of Rio, and married Almeida.

Senna's family accused Almeida of pressuring Senna to change his will, removing 11 brothers and sisters as potential beneficiaries.

Senna wrote a new will leaving the money only to Almeida and a daughter, Renata. Some local news media reported that Almeida had said her husband doubted whether he was Renata's real father and planned DNA testing to confirm his paternity.

He never got the chance.

On Jan. 7, two hooded men on a motorcycle pulled up to a bar in Rio Bonito where Senna usually went for a beer, eight kilometres from his ranch. Senna was shot four times in the head, and the hooded men sped away.

Five days later, 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.

Entry #37

Comments

1.
emilygComment by emilyg - February 1, 2007, 9:47 pm
guilty, your Honor.
2.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 2, 2007, 2:24 pm
Don't judge her too harshly. There are many stories like this one and the woman (or man) isn't always guilty. It does sound a little suspicious however. She needs to call Alan Dershowitz !
3.
konaneComment by konane - February 2, 2007, 2:44 pm
Em, I agree.

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