Tue, Jul 14, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Police accuse wife in death of boxing champ Arturo Gatti

AP , SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

Brazilian authorities detained the wife of former boxing champion Arturo Gatti and formally accused her on Sunday of killing him at an upmarket seaside tourist resort in Brazil.

Police said 23-year-old Amanda Rodrigues was taken into custody after contradictions in her interrogation and presented a formal accusation against her. Prosecutors will later decide whether she will be charged.

Rodrigues, who denies any involvement in her husband’s death, was the first to find the slain boxer’s body early on Saturday inside the vacation apartment they were renting at the Porto de Galinhas resort in northeastern Brazil, police said.

The former junior welterweight champion was apparently strangled with the strap of a purse, which was found at the scene with blood stains, said Milena Saraiva, a spokeswoman for the Pernambuco state civil police. She said that the Canadian also sustained a head injury.

Police said Rodrigues, a Brazilian, could not explain how she spent nearly 10 hours inside the residence without noticing that Gatti was already dead.

Rodrigues told police she had a fight with Gatti after dinner on Friday night and he pushed her to the ground during the altercation, causing her to sustain minor injuries to her elbow and chin. She told authorities Gatti was drunk and that a third party likely committed the crime after he went to the apartment by himself.

Witnesses had reported to police that the couple fought and that Gatti was drunk.

The couple’s one-year-old son, who was unhurt, was handed to Rodrigues’ sister, Saraiva said.

Gatti with a career record of 40-9 and 31 knockouts.

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