HOUSTON — Brazilian grandparents and convicted felons Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes walked out of federal court this afternoon still waiting for a judge's final order.
Judge Alfred Bennett sentenced Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes to 3-month and 1-month prison terms, respectively, in December for their role in helping their daughter Marcelle Guimaraes abduct their grandson Nicolas Brann. Their sentence can't begin until Bennett determines restitution.
"They've asked for over a million dollars, so they're saying we want to put you in jail and then put their foot on your neck," said defense attorney Rusty Hardin.
Prosecutors originally asked for $1.4 million in restitution for Houston Dr. Chris Brann. Brann has been fighting to get his son back to the U.S. after his ex-wife Marcelle abducted him to Brazil in 2013.
In May, a jury found Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes guilty of international parental kidnapping for helping their daughter keep him there. Brann wants reimbursement for his numerous trips to Brazil, lost wages and attorney's fees.
"He just estimated something that's totally a lie," Hardin said.
Defense attorneys managed to poke holes in prosecutor's math. By the end of the hearing, Brann's request had dropped to about $772,000. He chose not to answer questions after the hearing.
"What the government did by coming in here asking for $1.4 million with a bunch of made up stuff, and fabricated misleading stuff, they ought to be ashamed of themselves," said Wayne Dolcefino.
Dolcefino represents Nico's mother Marcelle Guimaraes. He says none of this will get Dr. Brann closer to having his son returned.
"It's time for everyone to figure out how you share custody of this child, but he stay in Brazil," Dolcefino said.
It's not clear when the judge will make his final decision. As soon as he does, Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes will report to federal prison in Houston to begin their serving their sentences.