Competency exam ordered for Naples man accused of killing wife, children

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Mesac Damas

EAST NAPLES, Fla. A judge on Friday ordered a competency exam for a 41-year-old man accused of killing his wife and five children by slitting their throats.

Mesac Damas, 41, faces six counts of first-degree murder in the killings, which took place in 2009, and he could face the death penalty if a jury unanimously agrees on a guilty verdict.

Damas does not want his lawyer to represent him in court, and Friday’s hearing was to determine whether he is mentally fit to represent himself at trial. But he consistently interrupted the judge, prompting the judge to order the exam.

“He wants to represent himself because he wants to enter a plea and today in court he said he wants to accept the death penalty,” Damas’ attorney James Ermacora said.

Damas’ attorneys claimed he had a traumatic brain injury and a long history of mental illness, according to court documents.

Damas is scheduled to appear in front of a judge again on Aug. 18. His trial is set to start on Sept. 5.

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