PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Accused quadruple murderer Adam Matos, 32, took the stand at his trial on Wednesday morning and admitted that he killed his ex-girlfriend Megan Brown, her parents and Brown’s boyfriend, but said he did it in self-defense.
The jury is expected to deliberate Thursday.
Matos is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2014 deaths.
Wednesday, he painted the jurors a different picture of what happened.
“According to you, you’ve just been attacked, right? People are just trying to kill you, right?” asked the state prosecutor.
“Yes,” Matos replied. “At that time I felt like my life was in danger.”
Matos said Nicholas Leonard first attacked him in the bedroom, put his hands around his throat and then pulled out a gun.
He claims he armed himself with a knife off the dresser, while they were tussling.
Matos says he stabbed Leonard with the knife three times.
He then claims Gregory Brown and Megan came in the room.
He said Gregory Brown had a gun.
“At that point Megan came in the room with Gregory and she said ‘shoot him dad, shoot him,’” Matos said on the stand.
Matos claims Brown tried to fire but the gun jammed.
Then he said he was able to wrestle the gun from Leonard and fired the weapon.
Matos claims Megan and Gregory ran out the room and headed towards the master bedroom to get what he believed was another gun to shoot him. He said he followed them and shot Gregory from behind.
“As I shot him in the back, he was going to turn with his weapon in his hands,” he said.
Matos said he fired another shot in the chest.
He claims he then fired towards Megan but missed.
He said the bullet hit the wall, ricocheted and then struck her in the head.
Matos claims he attacked Margaret Brown with a hammer when she got home later from work.
He said he felt his life was still in danger.
Prosecutors said Mato’s story and the timeline don’t add up.
“The story you have just told this jury, you have had three years, more than three years and the entire time of watching the evidence come by in this trial, to come up with the story that you told, right?”
Matos said, “It’s the truth.”
The bodies were found in Hudson where Matos left them to decompose. Prosecutors say after he killed the four, he ordered pizza and sold the family’s dogs on Craigslist.
After discovering the four bodies, deputies realized that Matos’ 4-year-old son Ismael Tristan Santisteban was missing. A Florida AMBER Alert was issued for the boy.
Deputies later discovered that Matos had planned on taking his son to the Florida Keys but could not get tickets and wound up at the Floridan Hotel in downtown Tampa. He was arrested with the help of a SWAT team.
While on the stand at his trial on Wednesday, Matos said after he killed the four victims, he tried to bury them, but couldn’t dig a hole big enough.
“I wanted to get the bodies away from the house. I didn’t want Tristan to be exposed to all the bodies and blood and smell, so I attempted to put them in the van,” he testified.
Both sides finished closing arguments Wednesday evening.
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