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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 10:47 GMT
Brazil carjack killers sentenced
Protest in Rio
The sentences come almost a year after Joao Helio was killed
Four young men in Brazil have been given maximum jail sentences after they dragged a six-year-old boy to his death behind a car they had stolen.

Joao Helio Fernandes died last February when the four carjacked a vehicle being driven by his mother in Rio de Janeiro and threw the family out.

The boy got caught in his seatbelt and was dragged behind the car for 7km (4 miles) before it was abandoned.

The crime shocked Brazil, sparking a mass protest in Rio de Janeiro.

One of the gang members was given a term of 45 years, and another 44 years and three months.

The other two were sentences to 39 years in prison.

All were aged between 18 and 23, and can appeal their sentences.

A fifth accused, who is a minor, is serving a three-year sentence in a juvenile reform institution.

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