CHESTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA: Fugitive Pennsylvania prisoner Danelo Cavalcante’s mother, Iracema Cavalcante, came out in her son’s defense, claiming that everyone had been lying about his crimes.
Despite acknowledging that Danelo did kill his girlfriend in 2021, Iracema argued that her son does not represent a threat to society in an interview with The New York Times from Brazil.
Notably, Pennsylvania prison escapee Danelo has been rummaging through woods and quiet suburban communities for about two weeks, prompting nearby businesses and schools to shut down.
He likely has no shelter and less to eat or drink as he runs from the hordes of police officers frantically searching for him.
— Policy Scoop (@policyscoop) September 13, 2023
After the fugitive broke into an open garage to grab a gun and was shot by a resident on Tuesday, September 12, authorities issued a warning that the man was now armed with a rifle.
The village was alarmed for their safety as Danelo wandered free with the stolen gun, but his mother maintained her 34-year-old “did not pose a threat to anyone,” even if he was armed.
Danelo Cavalcante’s mother alleges her son killed his partner as he felt ‘cornered’
In The New York Times interview, Danelo Cavalcante’s mother, Iracema Cavalcante, expressed her opinion that her fugitive son would be better off dead than serving the rest of his life in prison for the slaying of his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in April 2021.
While acknowledging that her son killed his fiancee, she told the publication that everyone was lying about him.
Iracema claimed that her son felt “cornered,” forcing him to kill his former partner in front of her young children, as per Independent.
She said, “If it’s to go to a place to suffer and die in that place, it’s better to die soon. You don’t have to suffer so much,” to The New York Times.
The mother further claimed, “Did it happen? It happened. But it happened because of the stranglehold she put on him, the stance she took with him … It wasn’t femicide. He had to, he had no other choice.”
Iracema Cavalcante defends her son’s action owing to his poor upbringing
Iracema Cavalcante justified her son’s behavior, saying that Danelo Cavalcante’s poor upbringing contributed to his behavior and that Brazil had hardened him to the point he couldn’t resist his compulsions.
The fugitive’s mother further told The New York Times that her son, who started working at age five, never attended school and instead sold vegetables in the market until he started working in the fields at age seven.
“We’re poor. We’re humble. But we’re workers. What we have, we fought to get,” claimed Iracema in the hour-long interview.
Authorities reaffirmed the claim at a press conference and noted that the fugitive’s tough childhood had probably made it challenging to apprehend him.
Iracema Cavalcante claims her son does not deserve life in jail
Iracema Cavalcante argued that her son was not the vile criminal that the police were portraying him to be, but she conceded that he was wrong to kill someone and should pay for his crimes.
She asserted that the penalty her son deserved was not execution by police or life in jail.
Iracema added, “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.”
The mother’s outlook on her son’s options grew increasingly pessimistic as the interview went forward. She claimed that if she could communicate with her son at this time, it would not be a request for him to turn himself in but rather that “he asks God to forgive him for what he did.”
Danelo Cavalcante was sentenced to life in August for killing his partner
Danelo Cavalcante, who was sentenced to life in prison on August 16 after being found guilty of killing his lover Deborah Brandao brutally in 2021, broke out of Chester County Prison on August 31, 2023.
FUGITIVE UPDATE – ACTIVE MANHUNT STILL UNDERWAY
The manhunt of escaped convict Danelo Cavalcante is still active. Attached is video footage from a residential security camera on the 1800 block of Lenape Road at 1:43 a.m. The fugitive has not changed his appearance. pic.twitter.com/Gh9jEBh9xX
— Chester County District Attorney's Office (@chescoda) September 2, 2023
The fugitive prisoner is alleged to have stabbed his girlfriend several times in front of her kids. According to the prosecution, he killed his girlfriend because she threatened to contact the police after learning he was sought for a 2017 crime in Brazil.