A man accused of killing a Fort Myers police officer wants the death penalty to be taken off the table.
Wismer Desmaret, 32, was in court on Wednesday for a hearing where his attorneys argued the constitutionality of the death penalty.
“It places one human life as being more valuable than another,” said Mark Brewer, the attorney representing Desmaret. “We would ask that it not be allowed.”
Desmaret appeared in court with restraints on and was surrounded by at least six deputies.
Desmaret is accused of killing Fort Myers police Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller during a confrontation over a stolen cell phone in July of 2018 where Desmaret took Jobbers-Millers’ gun and shot him with it.
The confrontation between Desmaret and Jobbers-Miller occurred just days after Desmaret was released from a Sarasota facility after he was found competent to stand trial in an unrelated case.
Desmaret was found competent to stand trial in October for Jobbers-Millers’ death, but he interrupted the court proceedings numerous times on Wednesday.
“Hey, I got something to say,” he said. “Being sexually harassed by the male officers at the jail I’m at. They keep asking me they wanna have sex with me.”
The judge, Robert J. Branning, asked Desmaret to air his concerns with his attorney.
Branning will return a ruling at a later date.
Mike Chionopoulos, a former judge and an attorney in Fort Myers unrelated to this case, said this will shape out to be a routine murder trial.
“I think all of the evidence I’ve seen so far is that if the prosecution really wants the death penalty here, they’re going to have that option,” Chionopoulos said.
Chionopoulos said the motions argued on Wednesday are routine.
“These motions have been tried and tested before,” Chionopoulos said. “I think because the decedent is a Fort Myers Police officer, there is a much higher probability of this being a death penalty case.”
Chionopoulos said if the judge rules in Desmaret’s favor, it would set up the opportunity for a plea bargain. If he decides with the state, the case would likely go to trial in a year or two.
“It’s very complex and takes a very long time to go through all those factors,” Chionopoulos said. “I mean we’re talking about somebody’s life.”
Attempts to reach the Jobbers-Millers family were unsuccessful on Wednesday.
In a statement, Fort Myers police said, they have full faith justice will be served.