Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mormon Killer Given Two Life Sentences


A Framingham man was sentenced to two life terms in prison yesterday for brutally killing his wife and her 11-year-old son in a rampage fueled by his jealousy about her devotion to the Mormon faith.
Jeremias Bins, a 32-year-old Brazilian immigrant, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder after a Middlesex Superior Court jury deliberated for seven hours. The trial began on Oct. 17. He was sentenced soon after the verdict was rendered.
Bins walked into Framingham Police Department headquarters early May 21, 2006, just hours after he had used a 2-pound hammer to bludgeon his wife, Carla Souza, and her son from a previous marriage, Caigue Souza. Bins carried their 5-month-old son, unharmed, and told police, "I'm sorry."
Police found his wife and her son in their Gordon Street apartment with severe head trauma. She died hours later at Massachusetts General Hospital. Caigue Souza died soon after he was taken to MetroWest Medical Center.
Carla Souza, 37, had called 911 at about 11 p.m. May 20, 2006, asking: "Can you come to my house, please? I'm having a problem with my husband." By the time police arrived, Bins had fled.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. called the case a "stark reminder of the complex, often tragic dynamic of domestic violence that plagues so many of our families."
"In a twisted attempt to exert power and control over his family, Jeremias Bins resorted to a level of extreme brutality and violence that is incomprehensible," Leone said in a statement. "We thank the jury for rendering this just verdict and speaking for Carla, Caique, and their family."
Defense lawyer Earl Howard could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A family member testified during the trial that Bins, who was baptized as a Lutheran, never accepted Souza's devotion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that he believed women should stay at home and tend to their family.
The couple met when Mormon missionaries invited Bins, a construction worker, to their church in Weston. During the service, he sat behind Souza, a house cleaner who also grew up in Brazil and had divorced from a previous marriage. The couple married a year later, and soon after Souza became pregnant.
Bins felt that church members were meddling in his family life, said Souza's brother, Elvio Maya. He said Bins called Souza's church and told the missionaries never to come to his house again.
The call led to an argument. Caigue Souza apparently tried to intervene on his mother's behalf, and Bins grabbed the hammer from his tool box. -Boston Globe