A man who was charged with murdering his pregnant wife and her father five years ago was saved from the possibility of a death sentence by pleading guilty to the crimes Tuesday.
On Wednesday afternoon, Cassandritz Blanc will be sentenced to three life sentences: One for each life he took, including the unborn child.
Blanc is accused of shooting his wife, Martine Bernard, in the head on the night of June 4, 2018, because she disrespected him, an arrest report says. He kept her body in his apartment for a week, and then tried to dismember the remains “to make it easier to dispose,” according to the arrest report, “but was unable to remove any body parts.”
Blanc was then spotted “laboring” to move a Waste Management trash container to the apartment building’s trash bin in an alley.
Cops were keeping an eye on him, having already suspected his involvement in her disappearance. “I heard him grunting as he lifted the hand cart and materials into the Dumpster,” according to the report.
She was six months pregnant with a boy, who was going to be named after Blanc.
Days after Martine Bernard’s death, Blanc shot his father-in-law, dumped the corpse in an empty lot, poured gasoline on Roosevelt Bernard’s body, and lit a pack of matches on him to set a fire to try to conceal the homicide, police said.
Police say he had texted from his wife’s cellphone to impersonate her and “confess” to killing her father.
Blanc had shot his father-in-law in the neck, and claimed his father-in-law had left the home with a Latin man who had come by.
“He stated that he shot the victim from behind because he was not able to look into his eyes,” according to the arrest report.
When police asked Blanc to meet with them at his home, he offered to come to the police station instead, according to the arrest report. He was asked to bring his wife, and while he initially agreed, he arrived alone and told investigators she had refused to come, her phone wasn’t working, and she couldn’t be reached, according to the report.
That’s what caused investigators to worry about her safety, and surveillance began.
Blanc’s taped video confession was obtained by the Law & Order Network, where he claimed his wife had “issues with her dad and couldn’t take it anymore” and had “animosity.” He said his wife sent a text to him claiming “I did it,” he told investigators. “She was responsible for her dad’s death.” He said his wife received help from a man named Juan, and then she killed him, too.
“Let it go,” the investigator said, urging him to confess without making up more lies. “I need to know why.” Then Blanc, 22 at the time, tells them his wife’s body has been pulled out of the trash bin.
The actual confession was not made public.
In June 2018, a Broward County grand jury indicted Blanc on charges of premeditated murder in both deaths, as well as two counts of abusing their corpses. The jurors also included a fifth charge against him, for killing the unborn child by injuring his wife.
Blanc’s attorney, Mark Eiglarsh, said Blanc will be formally sentenced Wednesday afternoon after pleading to all five charges.
“We are extremely grateful to both the prosecutors and the victims’ family for their compassion by offering a life sentence,” he said. “Justice was served.”
Paula McMahon, spokeswoman for the Broward State Attorney’s Office, said the life sentence means life and there will be no parole.
“He has also given up his right to appeal the convictions and sentences,” she said. “The defendant, through his attorneys, offered to plead guilty to all charges and give up all of his rights to appeal. After extensive discussions with the family of the victims, who stated they wanted this outcome and the finality it provides to them, prosecutors agreed to enter into this plea agreement.”
Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @LisaHuriash