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
NAPLES — Friends of Mesac Damas, who is in custody in Haiti for questioning about the deaths of his wife and five children, described him as a regular guy who liked playing music, working out at the gym and spending time with his kids.
And they questioned whether he was capable of the ghastly killings.
"I don’t know. I just don’t know," said Watson Toussaint, when asked if he believed Damas killed his family.
Toussaint, 34, who lives in Golden Gate, described himself as a distant relative of Damas. Though they didn’t get together on a regular basis, Toussaint said Damas seemed like a "regular person," and was "a fun guy to hang out with."
The two occasionally DJ’d together at T.G.I. Friday’s in Naples, as they did two weeks ago, Toussaint said. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary that night.
"Nope, he was the same guy I knew," Toussaint said. "I knew him as a good guy, as far as I am concerned."
Jean-Daniel Badette, 37, of Ottawa, Canada, said he was friends with Damas in the early 1990s when they participated in church activities together in Haiti. They lost touch when Damas moved to the United States in the mid-1990s, but recently reconnected on Facebook.
"When I knew him, he was a relaxed guy, cool guy, very gentle," Badette said.
Badette could not believe it when he read about the sextuple homicide involving Damas’ family.
"It’s something that you cannot imagine can happen," Badette said. "I have a young family, too. ... It’s incredible."
To Toussaint, Damas appeared to be a good father who loved his kids. But he questions Damas’ behavior last week -- flying home to Haiti the morning before his family was discovered dead in his home.
Toussaint said he couldn’t eat after learning of the killings.
"If somebody fled to Haiti, you left your family killed. What’s going on here?" Toussaint asked. "Of course everybody is going to believe you did it.
"He didn’t seem like that kind of guy."