Cassandritz Blanc killed his wife and their unborn son. Days later, he killed her father. He shot his wife in the head. The boy she was carrying would have borne Cassandritz’s name.
After pleading guilty to the crimes this week, Blanc stood up in court Wednesday to apologize. “I would sincerely like to apologize to the victim and the victim’s family,” he said, almost as if the victim were a stranger in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was an apology no one in the victims’ family cared to hear.
But it was enough to keep Blanc, 27, off of Florida’s death row. After consulting with the victims’ family, prosecutors dropped their efforts to secure a death sentence against Blanc in exchange for a guilty plea on Tuesday.
Investigators said Blanc shot Martine Bernard because she “disrespected” him, and that he hid her body in his apartment for a week, trying to dismember her to make her easier to hide, but failing. He shot his father-in-law, Roosevelt Bernard, in the neck and tried to set him on fire.
“He stated that he shot the victim from behind because he was not able to look into his eyes,” according to his arrest report.
Family members did not speak in court Wednesday, allowing Blanc’s hollow apology to be the final official word on the crime. Broward Circuit Judge John J. Murphy sentenced Blanc to three consecutive life sentences, one for the murder of the wife, one for her father, and the third for his unborn son.
“There’s no words that can undo the things that he did to us,” Roosevelt Bernard Jr. said outside the courtroom. “We opened our family to him. We loved him. We offered him a place to stay. For him to do what he did, there’s no way to excuse that.”
Rafael Olmeda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4457.