BOOKMARK DAMAS SECTION
NAPLES — Two more court dates were set for accused killer Mesac Damas in an effort to keep the case moving.
The prosecution has provided evidence to Deputy Public Defender Mike Orlando and plans to provide an early witness check and set two status hearings in front of Circuit Judge Frank Baker -- one for Nov. 25 and the other on Dec. 4.
Damas is accused of killing his wife and five children last month in North Naples.
The father of five faces life in prison or the death penalty if convicted of the brutal slayings of Guerline Dieu Damas, 32, and their children: Meshach “Zack,” 9, Maven, 6, Marven, 5, Megan, 3, and Morgan, 19 months. Prosecutors haven’t yet announced whether they will seek the death penalty.
Damas has been held without bond on suicide watch at the Collier County jail, a normal procedure in murder cases. It’s also common for a defendant not to show up for an arraignment when an attorney already has entered a written not-guilty plea — and for the case to be handled without an attorney or judge.
Last month, Baker granted Orlando’s motion to appoint a forensic psychologist to determine whether Damas is competent to stand trial and assist him — and if he was insane at the time of the crime.
Collier County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Damas’ rented townhouse on Sept. 19 after Guerline Damas hadn’t shown up for work at Publix. Deputies entered the home on Hampton Circle and found a bloody crime scene: Their bodies had been stabbed and their throats slashed.
Damas had fled to Haiti a day earlier, but was brought back by sheriff’s detectives after he confessed to a Daily News reporter and special agent Peter Kolshorn of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service following his arrest by Haitian police on Sept. 21.
Neighbors and relatives have said Guerline Damas had been packing her vehicle and intended to leave her husband in the days before their bodies were found.
Damas was serving probation and taking anger management and batterers’ classes after pleading to misdemeanor battery in June for hitting and choking his wife and causing their baby to fall to the ground in January.
DAMAS FAMILY KILLINGS COVERAGE
ONE YEAR LATER:
- Year after slayings of Guerline Damas, five kids, relatives ask ‘did it really, really happen?’
- Confessed killer Mesac Damas wants to die, so should court system let him?
- Damas family slayings: Year later, still haunting lives of friends, family, deputies
- Jail phone call: Accused killer Mesac Damas talks to father about his slain family, Satan and adultery
MESAC DAMAS CONFESSION VIDEO:
DAILY NEWS STAFF JOURNALISTS TALK ABOUT THE CASE:
- THE FIELD: Naples Daily News staff writer describes how he obtained an interview with Mesac Damas
- THE FIELD: Visual Journalist Greg Kahn discusses being the first journalist at the Damas crime scene, and other observations from the field.
- THE FIELD: Staff Writer Steven Beardsley answers questions about his interview with Mesac Damas