NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Convicted killer Adam Matos will spend the rest of his life in prison.
A jury decided to give Matos life instead of the death penalty on Tuesday.
The vote came down to one juror, who decided against the death penalty on count four — first-degree murder.
The jury started deliberating at 1:05 p.m. They came back with a decision at 2:24 p.m.
Matos stood and faced forward as the verdict was read.
Matos was found guilty last Thursday in the murders of Megan Brown, her parents – Gregory and Margaret Brown – and Nicholas Leonard at the Brown’s home in Hudson in 2014.
Prosecutors argued the only appropriate sentence was death during closing arguments Tuesday morning.
Defense attorneys said if it wasn’t for the love Matos had for his son, he would have never moved to Florida and none of this would have happened.
After the verdict was read, members of the victim’s families read impact statements.
Richard Brown, Gregory Brown’s younger brother, said, “Matos continued to lie when he took the stand.”
Megan Brown’s cousin, Amber Pyle also spoke. Pyle said her mother adopted Matos’s son, Tristan.
She said Tristan knows what happened and Matos did not shield him from the horror.
“He tells us daily what he saw and what he remembers. He tells us things along the line of, ‘Daddy made a boo boo on my mommy’s head and there was a lot of blood.’ And he tells us things like, ‘then he put them in a car and were all gone and he never saw them again,’” said Pyle.
Before sentencing Matos, Judge Mary Handsel gave him the opportunity to speak.
He apologized at the podium.
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.”
Explicit remarks were made from the victim’s families while Matos spoke.
Judge Handsel said she didn’t believe Matos apology was sincere.
“Just saying you’re 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,” said Judge Handsel. “So to say that Tristan is your whole world, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe Tristan was your whole world. I believe you did this because you were selfish.”
Outside the courthouse, Nicholas Leonard’s mother Paula Rystrom said she preferred Matos get the death penalty, but respects the court’s decision.
“I’m just very sad that he still gets a number which gives him slight value. He still gets to be something on this Earth. He doesn’t deserve to breathe the air that his victim’s families breathe,” said Rystrom.