Thursday, November 6, 2014

Custodial dad found guilty of capital murder for torture killings of 4-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son; mom had been denied all contact (Mobile, Alabama)

JOHN DEBLASE has been on our killer dads and custody list since 2010--though DeBlase's custody status is not mentioned in this particular article. In fact, he had FULL CUSTODY, and the mother had been barred by the father from having any contact with these kids. As is sickeningly evident, especially if you read our earlier posts, Daddy and his girlfriend/common law wife slowly and viciously tortured these children to death.

Once again, we see how violent fathers utilize child custody to punish mothers and secure total access to their victims.

And as usual, the media at the conviction stage utterly failed to report the custodial status of the killer father, so the public is left unaware of how these crimes are essentially set up and made possible.

See our earlier posts on this case here.

DeBlase Found Guilty of Capital Murder

Posted: Nov 05, 2014 1:27 PM EST Updated: Nov 05, 2014 6:30 PM EST

By WKRG Staff

John DeBlase. on trial for the brutal murder of his two young children, has been found guilty of three counts of capital murder.

The judge will determine whether the sentence warrants the death penalty or life in prison without the chance of parole either Thursday or Friday.

There is no indication whether DeBlase, 31, plans to appeal the verdict at this time.

DeBlase is accused of poisoning his two children in 2010 and burying their bodies in two different states.

News 5's Ashley Knight was in the courtroom as the verdict was read. The judge instructed the court for there to be no reaction upon hearing the verdict. As such, DeBlase showed no visible emotion when the guilty counts were read aloud.

Here's Ashley Knight's full report:

As the jury came into the courtroom, John Deblase looked up for the first time, as if trying to read the faces of the jurors. Then, you see him look back down and shake his head as if he sensed what was coming.

For the past three weeks, jurors have sat patiently, and listened to everything the defense and prosecution threw at them. It all boiled down to whether you believe Deblase's actions were intentional, or if he was just a negligent parent.

The defense, focusing on making Deblase's girlfriend, Heather Keaton, out to be the monster, portraying Deblase as a quiet, loving father who was manipulated by an evil woman. They said Keaton was jealous of Natalie's relationship with her father. And when she couldn't control the children, she killed them. They agreed their client was guilty, but not of capital murder—and instead asked for a lesser charge of manslaughter which would imply Deblase did not realize the situation would lead to the children's deaths.

The prosecution focused on the brutality of the murder. That 4-year-old Natalie's hands, feet and mouth were duct taped before she was put in a suitcase for hours until, they say, Deblase came and choked her to death, her body dumped in the woods in Citronelle. Months later, 3-year-old Chase was said to have been duct taped to a broom before meeting the same fate as his sister. His body was dumped outside Vancleave, Mississippi. They say Deblase stood by and watched Keaton abuse the children in the days leading up to their deaths and did nothing—stressing the point that all parents have a legal obligation to protect their children.

Rich made it clear the jury could send back a capital murder charge if they believe Deblase simply helped Keaton in the deaths.

After the verdict, Deblase's parents were too distraught to give a comment.

“Is there anything you'd like to say about John?"

“Not today," says mother Ann Deblase.

After the verdict, the jury was dismissed and will come back in the morning to start the sentencing phase. They will listen to testimonies given by character witnesses and the jury will then decide if Deblase will see life in prison without parole or the death penalty.