Haitian farm worker blames voodoo hex for murder - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Haitian farm worker blames voodoo hex for murder

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March 11, 2003

(Albany-AP) -- A 43-year-old Haitian immigrant farm worker told a judge he killed one man and injured two others because they had placed a voodoo hex on him.

Reynold Calixte pleaded guilty but mentally ill last Friday to felony murder and two counts of aggravated assault. Dougherty Superior Court Judge Stephen Goss sentenced him to life in prison. Chief Assistant District Attorney Gregory Edwards called it the most bizarre thing he's seen in his years as a prosecutor.

Edwards dropped a malice murder charge and weapons charges in exchange for the plea. Calixte killed Stephen Dameus by first shooting him in the stomach, cutting his throat and then stabbing him in the chest in an Albany hotel June 22, 2001, Edwards said.

Edwards said Calixte believed Dameus put a fatal hex on him by sprinkling black powder on his bus seat, shoes and pillow. Defense attorney Willie Weaver said Calixte thought the only way to save his life was to kill Dameus because he didn't have enough money to return to Haiti and see a witch doctor to reverse the hex.

Calixte, who cut his own throat during the attack, was found lying across Dameus. Edwards said he asked officers to kill him when they arrived. The night before the attack, Calixte was in the hospital with a high fever.

Edwards said he left the hospital against doctors' advice, went to the motel and attacked Dameus and two men he believed helped him.

posted at 2:45PM by dave.miller@walb.com