Thor Batista – the son of Eike Batista who’s the 7th richest person in the world with a $30 billion fortune is accused for manslaughter
In Brazil, the accident and its aftermath played out like the plot of a telenovela: the handsome son of the country’s richest man accused of hitting and killing an orphaned day laborer while racing around a poor suburb of Rio in his sports car.
That’s exactly what happened in March, when Thor Batista — son of the 7th richest person in the world with a $30 billion fortune — came under suspicion of manslaughter after he slammed into Wanderson Pereira dos Santos in a $1.3 million Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
Dos Santos had been riding his bike home from work and died instantly. Batista, 20, passed a breathalyzer test at the scene and claimed the dead 30-year-old had been crossing the highway and got in his way.
Dos Santos’ aunt disputed that version of events, claiming he would’ve been on the shoulder at that point in his journey. She added that the state of her nephew’s body indicated a head-on collision at speed. His heart, she told Brazilian newspapers, was inside Thor’s car.
Now, the dos Santos family will have their day in court. Thor Batista was indicted on Wednesday on charges of manslaughter with no intent to kill, according to Rio De Janeiro State’s Public Ministry. He faces between two and four years in jail if found guilty.
The case will hinge on whether the prosecution can make a convincing argument that Batista was speeding when he struck and killed dos Santos. Brazilian police claim he was driving 84 mph in a 70 mph zone.
Lawyers for the billionaire’s son dispute that claim, calling it “science fiction” and claiming dos Santos, not Batista, caused the tragic accident.
On Wednesday, the court suspended Batista’s driver’s license pending the trial.
A rep for Batista sent the following statement to Forbes: “The lawyers of Thor Batista, Marcio Thomaz Bastos and Celso Vilardi, despite not having had access the prosecutors´complaint, believe that the prosecution is mistaken and will prove the innocence of Thor Batista.”
Read More: Forbes