updated 2/1/2011 5:44:18 PM ET 2011-02-01T22:44:18

The lawyer for a Portuguese model accused of castrating a celebrity TV journalist with a corkscrew and killing him says he is planning a "vigorous defense."

Renato Seabra pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second-degree murder charge.

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Police say the 21-year-old has confessed to killing well-known Portuguese journalist Carlos Castro on Jan. 7 at their hotel room in Manhattan.

They say Seabra brutally attacked his companion for at least an hour.

Proescutors says Seabra admitted to castrating Castro with a corkscrew, bludgeoning him with a computer monitor and stabbing him in the face.

Defense lawyer David Touger said after Seabra's court hearing that they hope for a positive outcome to the case, although he didn't elaborate.

Seabra remains in custody at Bellevue Hospital.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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