St. Martin

Feb 7, 2012 7:24 PM by Jenise Fernandez

Daughter and Granddaughter Face the Death Penalty in Messex Murder Case

A grand jury indicted the daughter and granddaughter accused of murdering 83-year-old Jessie Messex on first degree murder charges. A St. Martin Parish deputy found the body ofJessie Messex back in November, in her vehicle at Lake Martin. Investigators say she had a cord wrapped around her neck. Both women were living with Messex at the time. Now, the St. Martin Parish District Attorney's Office is seeking the death plenty against these women.

"This I would say is one of the most gruesome, one of the most unnecessary and one of the most unexplainable crimes I've ever seen," said St. Martin Parish District Attorney Chester Cedars.

Cedars believes the only way to seek justice for Jessie Messex is to put her daughter Heller Dupuis and granddaughter Toni Dupuis on death row.

"There's not many women on death row, I hope we can add two more," said Cedars.

Cedars says Messex's age, her physical condition --- as well as the fact she was strangled to death, were just some of the reasons the DA's office decided to seek the death penalty.

"If you're going to have the death penalty in this state this is the type of case that warrants it. There was no sense, no reason for this woman to have died the way she did," said Cedars.

People in the area say they've noticed police stopping by Messex's home and it seems like they're looking for something, but the Cedars isn't revealing details on the case, he says he's saving that for court.

"Show up for trial and you'll hear all the facts," said Cedars.

Cedars is confident a jury will agree with the DA's decision to put the two women on death row.

"Close your eyes, picture that as your grandmother, picture Jessie as your mother. Now picture your mother having died in the manner in which she died. Now you tell me what the proper penalty should be?"

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