The Miami Herald
Sat, Apr. 03, 2004
Handyman recants murder confession

From Herald Wire Services

RIO DE JANEIRO -- A day after a public confession, a handyman denied Friday he killed an American couple and blamed two other Brazilians for the crime. Jociel Conceicao dos Santos, 20, was placed into Brazil's witness protection program after recanting his confession, said Rio state security secretary Anthony Garotinho.

Dos Santos claimed that two others ''were the real authors of this crime and he only collaborated with them,'' Garotinho said. Dos Santos said he received $14,000 for providing the information to the men, Garotinho said. There were no details on the police hunt for the two suspects or what specific charges Dos Santos faces.

Utah natives Todd Staheli, 39, a Shell oil executive, and his wife, Michelle, 36, were beaten to death as they slept in their Rio condominium Nov. 30. All four of their children, ages 3 to 13, were home but unaware of the attack.

Dos Santos calmly said after his arrest Thursday that he used a crowbar to beat the couple to death as they slept.