Estranged Hubby of Art Exec Murdered in Brazil Is Arrested in New York City

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The ex-husband of the slain art executive Brent Sikkema was arrested in New York on Wednesday, but not on charges related to his partner’s grisly murder in Rio de Janeiro—despite Brazilian authorities linking him to the crime.

Daniel Sikkema instead faces a charge of passport fraud, an offense that U.S. prosecutors hoped would keep him detained without bail ahead of trial, reported the Inner City Press, who first noted the arrest.

Prosecutors reportedly argued Wednesday that Daniel Sikkema, a Cuban national, could be a flight risk if he was released on bail. A district judge didn’t accept those pleas, however, saying his alleged crime in the U.S. wasn’t serious enough for him to be detained ahead of trial, so he set a $1 million bond for his release that was secured by property he owns in Queens.

Instead, Daniel was ordered to house detention and to have his location monitored by a GPS device. A Southern District of New York spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Thursday, however, that Daniel still remained in custody by the early afternoon because he was yet to be fitted with a GPS monitor.

Arrest Made After New York Art Dealer Stabbed to Death in Brazil

In Brazil, authorities have alleged that Brent’s alleged killer, the Cuban national Alejandro Triana Prevez, confessed to the slaying and claimed Daniel paid him roughly $200,000 to carry it out.

Despite that alleged confession, it remains unclear if Brazilian authorities have issued an extradition order for Daniel, who has continued living in New York City with the 13-year-old son he shared with Brent.

A criminal complaint in the U.S. for Daniel makes no mention of the allegations in Brazil, but does note that Brent was killed before his divorce was finalized with Daniel. Daniel is accused of lying on a passport application for him and the son he shared with Brent, claiming his son’s passport was lost despite him allegedly knowing he merely didn’t have access to it.

Brent, who founded Manhattan’s Sikkema Jenkins & Company gallery, was stabbed 18 times inside his Rio residence on Jan. 14. The slaying was initially believed to have been part of a violent robbery, but, days later, Brazilian authorities arrested Prevez and insinuated the case was a targeted homicide.

Brazilian authorities said there is substantial evidence linking Prevez to the crime, including a selfie of him in Brent’s kitchen, security footage showing him outside the residence for 14 hours, and $3,000 that allegedly belonged to Sikkema being found in his possession.

Famed New York Art Dealer Reportedly Stabbed to Death in Rio Home

Prevez worked for Daniel and Brent as security in Cuba previously, furthering rumors Brent’s slaying was the act of a hired hitman. Brazilian authorities added that it uncovered phone calls between Prevez and Daniel that were made through a burner cellphone.

An order for Daniel’s arrest was ordered on Feb. 10 and sent to Interpol by a Brazilian court, but he’s yet to be arrested in connection to the murder. Gregorio Andrade, one of Prevez’s lawyers, complained in a message to Hyperallergic magazine that it’s “absurd” that Daniel has remained free for so long and that he may soon be released from U.S. custody.

“It’s absurd that a man for whom a judge in Rio de Janeiro ordered an arrest warrant could be freed,” Andrade said, according to Hyperallergic. “It’s unthinkable that the arrest was carried out in this way, given the gravity of the crime, and given that the suspect might even be trying to leave the country.”

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