Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Parricide
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: September 18, 2009
Date of arrest: 3 days after (in Haiti)
Date of birth: July 2, 1976
Victims profile: His wife, Guerline Damas, 32, and their children Michzach, 9; Marven, 6; Maven, 5; Megan, 3; and Morgan, 11 months
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Collier County, Florida, USA
Status: In prison awaiting trial

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Mesac Damas, 33, is a Naples, Florida man who was, before being extradited to Miami on September 22, held without bail on the island of Haiti on suspicion of killing six people of his own family.

The body of Damas' wife of ten years Guerline Damas, 32, was found on September 18, 2009 in the family's North Naples, Florida home along with the dead bodies Mesac's five children Michzach, 9; Marven, 6; Maven, 5; Megan, 3; and Morgan, 11 months.

Florida police have yet to release any details on how the murders where done but describe the murder site as "horrific". Other news media has described the crime as the worst crime in the North Naples area history.

On September 17, Mesac Damas is believed to have boarded a plane to Haiti from the Miami International Airport. He was awaiting extradition to the United States in a police arrest in the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince.

On September 22, 2009 Damas confessed to police that he killed his family, he also told news reporters that he wanted to die and go to heaven. He was extradited to Miami on the same day. Damas has now been charged with the six murders and could face either life imprisonment or the death penalty if found guilty.


Mesac Damas appears in court, doesn't speak about death penalty

By Ryan Mills -

December 4, 2009

— Mesac Damas, who is accused of killing his family in North Naples, appeared in court today.

It was the first appearance of Damas since he was apprehended in Haiti and brought back to the Collier County jail back in September.

Damas’ only communication came when Judge Frank Baker asked if he understood the meaning of the procedure.


Accused of cutting the throats of his wife and five young children in September, 33-year-old Mesac Damas could pay the ultimate price — death — if convicted of the killings.

The State Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Damas, who has confessed to the killings and previously expressed to a Daily News reporter his desire to die for the crimes. The notice of intent to seek the death penalty was filed in Collier County court on Thursday morning.

If sentenced to death, Damas would be only the second Florida inmate on death row in a Collier County case.

Damas remains on suicide watch in the Collier County jail, and has not been allowed any visitors other than his attorney since his September arrest, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Collier County Deputy Public Defender Mike Orlando, who represents Damas, filed a not-guilty plea in September and said at the time that he had concerns about his client’s mental state. When reached for comment Thursday, Orlando had little to say about the state’s decision to pursue the death penalty.

“I would have preferred that they had not filed that, but that’s what they chose to do,” Orlando said. “I understand that and will prepare accordingly.”

Detectives say that sometime between Sept. 17 and 18, Damas left work, returned to his North Naples townhouse and cut the throats of his wife, Guerline Dieu Damas, 32, and their five children. He then fled to his native Haiti, where he was later arrested and returned to the U.S.

Family members on both sides were tight-lipped when asked Thursday about the possibility of Damas receiving the death penalty.

“I don’t want to talk about this,” Damas’ father, Jean Damas Sr., said before closing the door at his Naples Manor home.

Mackindy Dieu, 24, Guerline’s brother who is listed as a witness in the case, said he is not allowed to discuss it. Guerline’s mother, Thelicia Medor, also declined comment.

However, earlier in the day, Medor, who does not speak English, had her 12-year-old granddaughter, Sabrina Obsaint, return a call to the Daily News. She said the family is not sold on the death penalty.

“We wanted to see him live and suffer the consequences in jail,” she said.

The decision to file for the death penalty means that Damas will receive a second attorney for his defense and that he’ll undergo a penalty phase if convicted. During the penalty phase, the same jury that convicted him would decide whether to recommend Damas receive life in prison or the death penalty. They would weigh aggravating factors with mitigating factors offered by the defense.

Aggravating factors are defined in Florida law and include acts that are “heinous, atrocious and cruel;” acts that are “cold, calculated and premeditated;” acts in which a victim is under the age of 12; and those in which the offender is the parent of the victim.

Furthermore, under Florida law, each individual killing counts as a prior violent felony to the next.

David A. Brener, a Fort Myers criminal defense attorney, said all the aggravators listed above may apply to Damas. He said one mitigating factor stands above all others:

“Clearly this gentlemen is ill,” he said.

And though insanity is a notoriously difficult standard to meet, mental illness can play a major role in the penalty phase, Brener explained.

“In other words the jury can find him legally sane but mentally ill and therefore not deserving of the death penalty,” he said.

A status check is slated for Damas in court this morning, though Orlando said he doesn’t “anticipate Mr. Damas will be there.”

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, there are 387 inmates on death row in Florida.

If sentenced to death, Damas would join Brandy Bain Jennings as the only inmates with Collier cases on death row. Jennings was sentenced to death for his role in a 1995 triple homicide and robbery at Collier County’s Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Thomas Lee Gudinas’ was sentenced to death in Collier County in 1995. However, his case was moved to Naples from Orlando due to extensive publicity. Gudinas killed a former homecoming queen near a downtown Orlando bar in 1994.

Raymond Koon was sentenced to death in Collier County in 1982 for gunning down a U.S. Secret Service informant. In 2005, at 73 years old, he died in prison of natural causes.

In 2003, John Ballard, a suspected serial killer and former Golden Gate resident, was sentenced to death for robbing and killing two neighbors. However, the Florida Supreme Court vacated Ballard’s two murder convictions and his death sentence in 2006. He was last believed to be living in California.


Damas indicted on 6 counts 1st degree murder

Oct 14, 2009

COLLIER COUNTY: A grand jury issued an indictment for Mesac Damas, who is accused of killing his wife and five children in their North Naples home in September.

Damas will be arraigned on six counts of first degree murder on October 26.

The indictment says on or about September 17 or 18, he killed his wife Guerline Dieu, and children Meshach Zack, Maven, Marven, Megan and Morgan by stabbing or slitting their neck with a deadly weapon.

He has been in jail since his arrest a few days after the murders. He is being held without bond.

Because he is charged with first degree murder, the State Attorney's Office could seek the death penalty.

"We're trying to do that early in the case, to make a decision whether this is the type of case that warrants seeking a death penalty or not," said Steve Russell, State Attorney.


Mesac Damas confesses to killing family

Sep 23, 2009

COLLIER COUNTY: The man charged with killing his wife and five children last week is in the medical housing unit of the Collier County Jail.

The newly released arrest warrant states Mesac Damas stabbed and slit the throats of his wife Guerline and their five children sometime between September 17th and 18th.

The six bodies were discovered in the couple's rented townhouse on Saturday night.

Damas confessed publicly Tuesday to the murders to a reporter with the Naples Daily News while in Haiti.

Damas is on suicide watch in the medical unit of the jail.

Damas waived his first hearing.

Members of the Haitian community and the victim's advocate in the courtroom were disappointed Damas chose not to appear.

"The shelter will be here for every single hearing and we'll be here for the arraignment, and we feel we need to follow this case to the end," said Linda Oberhaus, Shelter for Abused Women and Children.

The victim's sister thinks Damas is only trying to set up an insanity defense. She says he tried to kill her sister before and Damas knew exactly what he was doing.

"He's lying, he's lying," said Adeline Payen-Dieu, Guerlain's sister.

Damas is scheduled for arraignment on October 19th.

Damas' public defender says he will enter a not guilty plea for Damas over concerns about his mental state at the time of the murders.


Cops: Florida Man Sought in 'Horrific' Murder of Wife, 5 Kids Fled to Haiti

September 21, 2009

Florida police say they are working with federal investigators to locate a man who fled to Haiti after his wife and five young children were found dead in their apartment over the weekend, victims of a grisly murder.

Florida police say they are working with federal investigators to locate a man who fled to Haiti after his wife and five young children were found dead in their apartment over the weekend, victims of a grisly murder.

The bodies of Guerline Damas, 32, and her five children — ranging in age from 11 months to 9 years — were found inside a Naples, Fla., apartment complex at 6 p.m. Saturday, according to investigators.

"In the 30 years that I've been in Collier County ... this is certainly the most horrific and violent scene that our community has ever seen," Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said during a news conference with reporters Monday. "This is the worst of the worst."

Rambosk said Florida police are coordinating with the FBI and ICE to reach Damas' husband, Mesac, who they say drove to Miami International Airport on Friday morning and boarded a flight to Haiti. Damas, 33, reportedly has family there.

"We will send investigators over to talk with him find out what he knows," Rambosk said. Collier County sheriffs have no jurisdiction outside the country. The FBI and ICE have reached out to the Haitian government about the case and are awaiting word, he said.

Mesac Damas' car was found at the Miami airport and is being transferred back to Collier County for investigation. Rambosk would not say whether any evidence has been recovered from the vehicle.

Family members contacted authorities Thursday saying they hadn't heard from Guerline Damas. A missing person report was filed the next day, and on Saturday, the sheriff's office entered the home in a gated community in Naples and found the bodies, Collier County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Michelle Batten said.

Authorities say Mesac Damas was last seen at about 9 p.m. Thursday at Miller's Ale House in Naples, where he worked as a cook. He arrived at the Miami airport Friday morning and boarded a flight to Haiti.

The man's father, Jean Damas Sr., confirmed Sunday that his son was in Haiti and said the family had been in touch with him since he departed. "He called his brother from there," he said.

Damas Sr. said he believes his son killed his wife and five young children, and told the Naples Daily News that his son believed his wife was seeing another man. Relations between the two had soured since January, he said.

Records on the Collier County Clerk of Courts Web site reportedly show Damas has prior arrests for domestic violence.



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