HUDSON, Fla. -- One vote saved the life of a man convicted of brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend, her parents and her new boyfriend in 2014.
The jury found Adam Matos guilty on four counts of Premeditated First-Degree Murder. With one vote, the jury recommended that Matos live out the rest of his days behind bars.
10 out of 12 jurors voted for a death sentence in the murders of Megan Brown, Greg Brown and Nick Leonard. For the murder of Margaret Brown, 11 out of 12 jurors voted Matos be sentenced to death. Capital punishment must be unanimously decided by a jury, therefore that one vote spared his life.
After hearing the jury's decision, family member after family member of the victims spoke about how the tragic deaths have impacted their lives and the true devastation it has caused them. They spoke of how Matos had never once apologized or felt any remorse.
Following their statements, Matos had the opportunity to speak. He said, “I would just like to say I’m sorry to the victims of the families. I know that’s not enough, but I would just like to make peace and hope that they don’t hold onto that hate in their heart.”
Judge Mary Handsel was the last person to speak. She looked Matos directly in the eyes and said, "If there was ever a case, that I ever heard, that 12 people would have decided that death was appropriate, this is probably it."
She sternly added, "This was the most selfish, self-centered, evil thing I ever heard."
"Just saying sorry doesn't make it so. You're not sorry for what you did, yet. Maybe someday you will be. You weren't sorry that day. You weren't sorry when you took the stand and you're not sorry now... You will never, ever be released from prison." – Judge Mary Handsel
During the trial, Matos admitted to killing Megan Brown, Greg Brown, Margaret Brown and Nick Leonard but claimed that self-defense and "paranoia" led to the brutal quadruple-homicide.
Matos and Megan Brown shared a son who was four years old at the time of the homicides.
According to Matos' testimony, the young boy, who has autism, was inside the home when Matos brutally slayed all four victims. The boy also remained in the bloody home with Matos for several days following the murders.
"Your son will grow up without a mother, without a father, without grandparents just as you did." Judge Handsel added before reading the sentence. "But worse than you, he will grow up without a father because he will know his father murdered his mother and murdered his grandparents... There's no worse life than that."
Matos now has 30 days to appeal Judge Handsel’s sentence. He cannot afford an attorney and will therefore be appointed one.