Trial closing for grandparents charged with helping kidnap Houston-born boy to Brazil

May 22, 2018 GMT

Lawyers began delivering final arguments Wednesday in Houston in the federal court trial of a Brazilian couple accused of helping their daughter kidnap their now 8-year-old grandson from Houston in 2013.

The case has drawn international attention to the difficulty of so called “left-behind” parents to get governments of certain countries to return children whose country of residence is the United States.

Witnesses testified for eight days about Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes, who are on trial for conspiracy help their daughter, codefendant Marcelle Guimaraes, secure a job abroad and enroll her son Nico in a Brazilian school as part of an elaborate premeditated plan to relocate permanently, in violation of a custody arrangement in Harris County family court. The boy’s mother is wanted in the case, but remains in Brazil.

The grandparents were arrested in Miami as they traveled to Houston for a vacation, and were unaware they had been charged in an indictment that was sealed by the court..

The boy’s father, a doctor at the Medical Center, has testified that son did not return from a trip with his ex-wife to attend a wedding in Brazil.

RELATED: Brazilian grandparents arrested in Miami in kidnapping of Houston boy

Gabrielle Banks covers federal court for the Houston Chronicle. Follow her on Twitter or send her tips at gabrielle.banks@chron.com.