Fate of convicted cop-killer may be decided by 1 juror’s conscience

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

The man who shot and killed a Fort Myers policeman is waiting to discover his fate. The jury that found Wisner Desmaret guilty of murdering Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller is isolated.

They sequestered in a hotel ahead of the biggest decision of their lives, recommending life in prison or death.

A note was handed to the judge on Thursday from the jury foreperson indicating that one juror cannot recommend death for any reason other than her conscience. The judge instructed to jury to rely on their instructions and continue deliberating.

But Desmaret’s actions in the courtroom are under the microscope from legal experts who said he could be hurting his case and chances at future appeals.

“She’s indicated she will only vote with her conscience; please advise,” the judge said.

That was the moment WINK News learned one juror was struggling with the decision over recommending the death penalty for the convicted killer.

Before deliberations, Desmaret’s family was prepared to speak on his behalf. His family would have likely argued why Desmaret should not get a death sentence. However, Desmaret refused to allow his family to speak.

“No, like I said, I’m just going to go all by myself on this,” Desmaret said.

Desmaret also accused his standby counsel, Lee Hollander, of making death threats.

“‘I just want you dead. I want dead. I want death’. That’s what Mr. Hollander kept saying to me,” Desmaret said.

To which the judge responded by saying, “So, again, I think I pointed out to you previously, that is a non-credible statement.”

The jury heard from Jobbers-Miller’s uncle.

“They were just starting their life together,” Jobbers’Miller’s uncle said while holding back tears.

He said Jobbers-Miller had wanted to be an officer since he was six. Becoming the officer he always wanted to be was not easy. Jobbers-Miller was born premature, drug-addicted, and HIV-positive.

Desmaret then accused the fallen officer of trying to steal his blood.

“And I guess I looked like new blood that night. And if he would have shot and killed me and take me to the hospital, or when he get there, all they doing is withdrawing… taking my blood out of me… taking my blood out of me. And feeling to give him transfusion,” Desmaret said.

Desmaret was deemed competent by the court and chose to represent himself. And legal expert Doctor Pamella Seay said he could not claim incompetence in any future appeals.

“By making these decisions, he is proving himself to be incompetent, that he is not allowing for good information to be sent forward. That’s not a basis for an appeal,” Dr. Seay said.

Desmaret also took issue with his standby attorney, objecting to legal issues and filing a notice of appeal on Desmaret’s behalf, telling the judge he didn’t want him there anymore.

Dr. Seay said if those objections are not made now, it limits the number of appeals that can be made in the future.

Court will resume Friday morning at 9 a.m.

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