Brazil to send warrant to Interpol for arrest of ex-husband of art gallerist Brent Sikkema

Brent Sikkema, the owner of an art gallery in New York City, was found dead in his apartment in Brazil in January. He is seen in a photo provided with a news release from his gallery announcing his death. Photo courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A Brazilian judge has determined that a warrant should be sent to Interpol for the arrest of man accused of hiring another man to kill his ex-husband, the prominent New York gallerist Brent Sikkema.

Judge Tula Correa de Mello, the head of the third criminal court in Rio de Janeiro, officially ordered the arrest of Daniel Sikkema, the ex-husband of gallerist Brent Sikkema, the Folha de São Paulo newspaper reported Saturday. The news was confirmed by broadcaster Globo.

Correa de Mello ordered that the arrest warrant for Sikkema be forwarded to Interpol through Brazil's Federal Police as Sikkema, a Cuban man, lives in New York.

Sikkema's husband, Brent, was found dead from 18 stab wounds in his apartment in Rio de Janeiro on January 15. He founded the Sikkema Jenkins & Co. contemporary art gallery in 1991 and rose to become one of the most successful art dealers.

Days after his death, another man -- Alejandro Triana Prevez -- was arrested in São Paulo. After initially denying his involvement, it was revealed Friday that Prevez accused Daniel Sikkema of paying him $200,000 for the murder.

"The boss is Daniel Sikkema," Prevez's lawyer Greg Andrade told Artnet News.

Prevez, 30, testified that Daniel Sikkema was angry about the alimony he received in his divorce, which left him with less to spend on sex, drugs and booze. Authorities said they found evidence that some of the money had already been paid to Prevez through a money transfer.

The warrant claims Daniel Sikkema gave Prevez pre-planned instructions, including a set of keys to enter the victim's residence, and provided for his travel to Brazil on January 14 to carry out the murder.

Police said Prevez was also caught on surveillance footage, allegedly lurking outside Brent Sikkema's home on the night of the murder.

Prevez's family and lawyers had implicated Daniel Sikkema before the news came that authorities were seeking his arrest, suggesting the alleged assassin was manipulated.