‘The Devil Exists’: Florida Man Who Admitted to Killing Wife and 5 Children Pleads for Death Penalty

Mesac Demas, from North Naples, Florida, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to murdering his wife, Guerline (pictured together, right), and five children (top right) in their home in September 2009.
Mesac Demas, from North Naples, Florida, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to murdering his wife, Guerline (pictured together, right), and five children (top right) in their home in September 2009.

A Florida man who admitted to killing his wife and five children more than six years ago suffered a traumatic brain injury that should keep him from the death penalty, his lawyers now argue.

Mesac Damas, 39, has been in custody since 2009 after he confessed to murdering wife Guerline, 32, and children Michzach, 9, Marven, 6, Maven, 5, Megan, 3, and 11-month-old Morgan.

The six victims were found in the family’s North Naples home with stab wounds and their throats slashed on September 18. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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Damas’ mental health, in addition to challenges to Florida’s death penalty laws, have delayed his case going to trial for years.

His competency and mental health could be cited as ‘mitigating factors’ during sentencing that may be significant enough to keep the jury from sending Damas to Death Row, according to Naples Daily News.

James Ermacora, one of Damas’ attorneys, would not elaborate on the traumatic brain injury but said the claim was made using information from an expert report.

The filings claim that Damas has a ‘long and documented history of mental illness, beginning even in his youth in Haiti’.

It also states that both sides from Damas’ family show evidence of ‘alcohol abuse, spousal abuse, and serious mental illness on both genetic sides’.

The lawyers claim records from hospitals and prisons back up these claims, and Ermacora plans to travel to Haiti to obtain more evidence of Damas’ history of mental illness.

Guerline Damas, who had been married to her husband for 10 years, and her children were discovered dead after a family member asked police to conduct a welfare check.

Damas’ car was found at Miami International Airport, where he had boarded a one-way flight to Haiti.

He was found hiding near a hotel in Port-au-Prince and taken into custody by the Haitian National Police, according to CNN.

Damas admitted to killing his family to a Naples News reporter, telling him ‘Only God knows’ when asked why he did it.

He then blamed the six murders on his mother-in-law, saying she ‘pretty much made me do it – the devil, her spirit, whatever she worships’.

He told the reporter he wanted the jury to immediately send him to death before adding that his children and wife were innocent, ‘everybody’s innocent’.

‘Then why, why would you kill them?’, the reporter asked.

‘The devil,’ he responded. ‘The devil exists…When I did it my eyes was closed, right now my eyes are open.’

When the reporter asked him if he believed he would go to heaven when he died, Damas said yes.

‘I was gonna kill myself, but I didn’t have the courage to do it, because if you kill yourself you’re not going to heaven,’ he said.

‘But I didn’t have the courage to do it myself.’

Damas said he went to Haiti to say goodbye to his family and claimed he was going to turn himself in. He was charged with six counts of first-degree murder.

In 2014 Damas, who was arrested for battery charges against his wife five months before her death, was found incompetent to stand trail. He was determined to have a ‘major mental illness’ by doctors.

But in October a judge found that Damas could be ‘manipulative and deceitful’, engaging in ‘cooperative behavior when necessary to get something he wanted’.

Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt temporarily put Damas’ trial on hold in until the Supreme Court ruled whether the state’s death penalty laws and procedures were constitutional.

The Court ruled in January that it was unconstitutional to allow judges to reach a different decision regarding death penalties than juries.

The Florida House voted last month for a death penalty bill that requires a minimum of 10 out of 12 jurors to recommend the death penalty.

Daily Mail

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