WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It took six jurors less than 45 minutes to convict Roosevelt Mondesir of attempted first-degree murder and domestic aggravated battery charges for setting his ex-girlfriend on fire last year at a Boynton Beach gas station.
Mondesir, 53, faces up to life in prison when Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Stephen Rapp sentences him on August 23.
During proceedings this morning, Mondesir spent most of the time holding his head in his hands as prosecutors in closing arguments described how he lured Naomie Breton to the gas station on June 14, 2012 under the guise of letting her pick up their son.
As soon as she arrived, they said, he got out of his car armed with a gas can and a machete.
After Mondesir doused her with gasoline, he chased her with the machete and lighter before he set her ablaze.
Assistant State Attorney Alexcia Cox called it a clear-cut case. “How can you set fire to any living thing and expect it to live?” she asked jurors. “You do not set fire to people and then go back and say that you don’t intend for them to die.”
But Mondesir’s defense team said his actions were merely a cry for attention, and he never intended to kill Breton.
“It’s the proverbial schoolboy getting the girl’s attention by pulling her pigtails. Very obviously we’re far from schoolyards and pig tails here, but it’s the same principal of trying to get that attention by any means,” defense attorney Thomas Weiss said.
Rapp read the panel of jurors their deliberating instructions just after 11 a.m. and they began deliberations shortly afterward.
By Daphne Duret Palm Beach Post Staff Writer