Two men who were retried on suspicion of kidnapping a Brazilian woman and her son and holding them hostage in a Costa Mesa motel have been convicted on lesser charges of attempted extortion by force, according to court records.
Reynaldo Eid, 52, of New York and Alaor Oliveira, 57, of Connecticut were originally sentenced to life in prison for two counts of kidnapping for ransom in 2009.
An appellate court, however, sent the case back for retrial because the original trial failed to instruct jurors that prosecutors' had to prove that the captors knew the woman and her son wanted to escape.
Prosecutors claimed that Eid and Oliveira were paid $14,000 by a Brazilian man hoping to bring his 24-year-old wife and 5-year-old son from Sao Paulo to the United States in 2005, and that the two men held the woman and child at a Costa Mesa Travelodge until a family friend in Orange County called police.
In the appellate court decision, the court said that the woman and her son never saw weapons and were treated well by their alleged captors.
Eid and Oliveira were each convicted Monday of two felonies — attempted extortion by force or threat — and sentenced Tuesday to jail. They were also ordered to pay the victim restitution, according to Orange County Superior Court spokeswoman Carole Levitzky.
Both men, however, have 12 years of credit toward their sentences — six years for time served and an another six years credit for good behavior, according to public defender Tracy Lesage.
The men were expected to be released from Orange County jail Tuesday, but will be handed over to federal authorities for an immigration hold, Lesage said.