The man accused of killing Adam Jobbers-Miller, a Fort Myers Police Officer, is helping pick who will decide if he’s guilty.
Jury selection started on Monday for the trial of Wisner Desmaret, and he is representing himself. Consequently, Desmaret would get to ask potential jurors questions.
Desmaret fought for months for the chance to represent himself. And while in court on Monday, he made it clear he thinks the community is out to get him, including potential jurors. Desmaret said they all want to see him dead.
Inside courtroom 8B, dressed in a navy sport coat and light blue button down, with a carefree grin on his face, Desmaret appeared ready to select the men and women who will determine if he is guilty of killing FMPD officer Jobbers-Miller in 2018.
“If there’s some people in here that’s trans, they might look at me like I’m guilty just because I’m straight,” Desmaret said.
“Are there witches in here am I being judged by sorcerers who are trying to kill me?” Desmaret asked.
“These jurors are not to pick for my case. They way older than me and they looking at me like I’m a gangster a murderer,” Desmaret said.
Desmaret is acting as his own lawyer in the death penalty case. Judge Robert Branning warned him, his life is on the line before bringing in the first set of possible jurors.
“They are seeking the death penalty. It is the most grievous punishment we have,” Judge Branning said. “I’m going to ask you one final time before I bring jury up. Would you like me to appoint counsel to represent you in this matter?”
“Nah,” Desmaret said.
Standing to the right of Desmaret, attorney Lee Hollander, sits, just in case.
“27 years of defense where I’ve never been standby counsel. And basically, I sit there like a potted plant,” Hollander said.
Hollander had a busy day, spending much of the time covering his face, shaking his head, unable to stop Desmaret from speaking.
“I’m afraid I’m going to, like if something gets said, jump up at object just a reflex,” Hollander said.
Jimmy Mera, Desmaret’s brother, seen in the back row of the courtroom with unwavering belief in his brother’s innocence.
“I know my brother. I watched him grow since I was younger. You know, I know his heart. So I know, the image that they’re portraying, that he’s being accused of, I know, that’s not matching,” Mera said.
One by one Desmaret questions potential jurors to the point of interrogation. Desmaret does not ask about the death penalty. Instead, he merely asks each candidate a four-worded question.
“Do I look familiar?” Desmaret asks.
Jury selection will resume Tuesday morning. It’s difficult to seat a panel of 12 in any death penalty case. With Desmaret acting as his attorney, jury selection might take a bit longer.
The state said once a jury is stead, the trial could last as long as three weeks.