A courtroom was filled with yelling, arguing, and the refusal to follow directions from the judge as a man convicted of killing his wife and kids hoped to appeal his death sentence.
Those are just some of the things Mesac Damas did during his post-conviction hearing. Damas pleaded guilty to the killings and was sentenced to death.
The hearing is the only opportunity for Damas to fight for a punishment other than the death sentence.
A mother and five children were killed in 2009. Damas, the father, pled guilty to the gruesome murders, and in 2017, a judge sentenced him to death.
“They gon kill me, momma. Like George Floyd, momma,” shouted Damas in court.
The drama continues years later, with Damas in court for a post-conviction hearing.
Judge Ramiro Manalich, defense attorneys, and state attorneys began the day by mentioning Damas’ reluctance to be there.
“I tried to make it very clear to Mr. Damas, that there was disadvantages to not bring here. He would not respond to my questions to follow up on that,” said Judge Manalich.
Manalich said Damas’ presence in court was required. Damas did not want to come. Half an hour later, corrections officers got Damas shackled, cuffed, and chained to a chair inside the courtroom.
At first, he mumbled and groaned, but that quickly escalated to yelling and screaming.
“Your son is gone! Your son is gone! Your son is gone, mama,” said Damas in court on Tuesday.
“I tolerated some of the earlier behavior. Now, I can escalate it to the point of yelling and screaming,” said Judge Manalich, in response to Demas’ outburst.
Damas didn’t stay long, and once back in his cell, defense and state attorneys got to questioning witnesses.
“It’s just the facts, the facts, with the, you know, children that were killed, and the way they were killed,” said a witness on Tuesday. “He’s very paranoid, I talked about, and delusional. And he talked about some zombies being involved in the case, and voodoo was being done.”
Damas was brought back into the courtroom after the state and defense questioned two witnesses. He remained quiet with his eyes shut and refused to answer any questions.
Damas’ trial will continue on Thursday at 9 a.m. and is expected to wrap up on Friday.