October 2, 2014
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A man convicted in the murder of a Brazilian couple and their 7-year-old son was sentenced Friday for his role in their deaths.
Valdeir Goncalves-Santos was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He will receive credit for time served and be eligible for parole in 10 years, then will be deported.
Goncalves-Santos made an 11th hour plea agreement in 2011. In exchange for reducing the charges to second-degree murder, he agreed to testify against the two other suspects in the case.
Vanderlei, Jacqueline and Christopher Szczepanik were last seen in December 2009. Investigators say Goncalves-Santos told them the men beat Vanderlei to death and hanged his wife and son and threw the bodies in the Missouri River. Only the remains of Christopher were found.
Last month, Jose Oliveira-Coutinho was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of theft. The third suspect, Elias Lourenco-Batista, remains in Brazil.
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