The confessed killer of a 73-year-old American nun who defended the poor in Brazil's Amazon rain forest told a court on Friday he shot her in self-defense, not in a contract killing.
Rayfran das Neves Sales, is seen in a video which shows how he killed nun Dorothy Stang during a trial at Justice Tribunal in Belem, Brazil, on Friday, Dec 9, 2005. Rayfran das Neves Sales and Cloadoaldo Carlos Batista will be the first of five men accused in the killing to stand trial for the Feb. 12 killing of 73-year-old nun gunned down in the remote corner of the Amazon rainforest in a dispute over land. Dorothy Stang spent the last 30 years of her life defending poor settlers in the Amazon rain forest. She was shot near the remote jungle town of Anapu in a dispute over a patch of forest that a local rancher wanted to cut down.(AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Raifran das Neves Sales told the court in the Amazon city of Belem that he killed the rain forest activist after mistaking her Bible for a gun, not in a contract killing as he had previously stated.
The ranch hand shot Dorothy Stang six times with a revolver on a jungle track in February. He and his employers had clashed with the activist as she set up a government reserve for peasants on land they claimed was theirs.
Stang worked for 30 years fighting for land rights for poor settlers in the Amazon.
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