Broward Man's Murder Trial Defending Against Death Penalty Charges

Broward Man’s Murder Trial: Defending Against Death Penalty Charges

Wearing an inmate jumpsuit under maximum custody, a Broward man, accused of murdering his pregnant wife and her father, appeared in court again on Friday as his lawyers strive to help him avoid the death penalty.

Cassandritz Blanc, 27, faces three counts of murder for the fatal shootings of his pregnant wife, who was six months along, and his father-in-law in June of 2018.

Hollywood Police Detective Ryan Rillo testified on Friday about the initial disappearance of Blanc’s wife, 20-year-old Martine Bernard.

“She was missing, she was pregnant. The family had no voice contact with her for some time, only text contact, which they found odd,” said Rillo.

Later, the body of Martine’s father, Roosevelt Bernard, was discovered. He had been burned and discarded in a field near the family home on Washington Street.

Authorities began focusing on Blanc as a person of interest in both murders.

Rillo described a bizarre encounter with Blanc on the night he allegedly disposed of his wife’s body in Fort Lauderdale. Rillo and another detective were surveilling Blanc from an unmarked patrol car when he approached them with a flashlight.

“He stops, he comes back to my car, takes a flashlight out and he starts looking in my car,” said Rillo. “He keeps going back and forth so we are, for lack of a better term, playing ring-around-the-rosey in my car.”

Shortly after this incident, Rillo stated that Blanc placed his wife’s body in a trash can and left it in the alley of their apartment complex.

“He is pushing it up, it’s obviously heavy. He’s trying to keep it from tilting over,” said Rillo. “He’s struggling to push it and keep it upright.”

“I approached the garbage can and could smell the distinct odor of a decomposing body,” Rillo informed the judge.

Prosecutors claim that Blanc confessed to the murders shortly after his arrest, and they emphasize that he was aware of his wife’s pregnancy.

His defense team filed motions to have the confession removed from evidence, and the judge is currently considering these motions, with a ruling expected next week.

If this case goes to trial, it is scheduled to commence on August 28th. If Blanc is found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

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