Mesac Damas sentenced to death for first-degree murder of family

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Mesac Damas

NAPLES, Fla. The man behind the worst mass-murder in Collier County history has been sentenced to death on all counts related to the murder of his family.

Judge Christine Greider handed down the maximum punishment Friday for Mesac Damas, who pleaded guilty last month to six counts of first-degree murder for killing his wife and five children in 2009. The death penalty is in play.

When Judge Greider talked about the gruesome details of the murder Damas was seen reaching across the table to grab tissues and put them in his ears.

There was a disagreement over Florida’s death penalty law in 2015. A judge delayed Damas’ case indefinitely until the courts could decide if they needed a unanimous jury for the death penalty. That way the state wouldn’t have to retry the case.

In the end, Damas waived his right to trial and a judge – not a jury – sentenced him to death.

MORE: Details emerge about North Naples man who killed wife, kids

Damas’ Defense Attorney Kevin Shirley spoke after the sentencing, “We were hoping for life in prison. The death sentence is barbaric but you know, it is what it is and it’s the law in Florida for the time being.”

The mercurial behavior of Damas has marked the lengthy legal process, during which he’s nodded off in court, delivered bizarre statements and detailed both the gruesome manner in which he carried out the killings and his regret over having done so.

Damas’ mental competency was long in question before he was ultimately ruled fit to stand trial earlier this year. His attorneys this week called a voodoo and religion expert who testified in a presentencing hearing that Damas felt compelled by the devil to kill.

MORE: Voodoo expert: North Naples man felt forced by devil to kill family

Mackindy Dieu, whose sister Geraldine Dieu was Damas’ wife, also testified this week, appealing to Greider to “honor my sister and her children in a way that does¬†justice.”

FLORIDA DEATH ROW

A Death Row cell is 6 x 9 x 9.5 feet high. Florida State Prison also has Death Watch cells to incarcerate inmates awaiting execution after the Governor signs a death warrant for them. A Death Watch cell is 12 x 7 x 8.5 feet high.

Men on Death Row are housed at Florida State Prison in Raiford, FL, and Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, FL. The women on Death Row are housed at Lowell Annex in Lowell, FL.

Death Row inmates are served meals three times a day: at 5:00 am, from 10:30 am to 11:00 am and from 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

The inmates may shower every other day.

Death Row inmates can be distinguished from other inmates by their orange t-shirts. Their pants are the same blue colored pants worn by regular inmates.

Who is on death row?

Total White Males 211
Total Black Males 134
Total Other Males 8
Total White Females 1
Total Black Females 2
Total Other Females 0
10/27/2017 Total 356

*This does not include Damas as he is not at the facility yet.

Source: Florida Department of Corrections

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