Brazilian man who suspected wife of cheating kills her with sledgehammer, gets 23 years

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian court says it has convicted a 73-year-old man of killing his wife with a sledgehammer on Christmas Day five years ago because he believed she had cheated on him and wanted to spend all his money.

The federal district court says Djalma Costa Ferreira was convicted Wednesday and sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison but may remain free pending an appeal.

The court says it imposed a harsh sentence after taking into consideration that the couple were married for 47 years, had three children, and that the wife was more than 60 years old.

A statement posted on the court's website Friday says that Costa hit his wife, Benvinda Matos Costa, several times with the sledgehammer following a Christmas party at the house of one of their sons in 2005.