A CRAFTSMAN who hid in his victim’s shower before burying him in a septic tank underground was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences on Tuesday.
Keoki Demich will spend the rest of his life in prison for the first-degree murder of Cynthia Cole, for whom he worked as a longtime handyman in February.
Demich pleaded guilty after prosecutors agreed to stop seeking the death penalty.
He also pleaded guilty to burglary into an occupied home with assault or assault and sexual assault, as well as third degree grand larceny and grand theft of a motor vehicle.
District Judge Sherwood Bauer told Demich that his guilty plea meant “the only way out of prison is if you die of old age or disease.”
According to court documents, Demich hid in Cole’s shower while he awaited her return home.
The court documents said Demich assaulted her, drowned her in her bathtub and sexually abused her before burying her in the septic tank.
Cole was originally reported missing before her body was found submerged in the tank on March 5 after investigators spent hours excavating the site.
She was last seen at a Jammin’ Jensen event in Jensen Beach, Florida before returning home.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said investigators were able to secure surveillance footage showing Demich walking away from Cole’s vehicle the night she disappeared.
According to an affidavit, Demich was arrested after Cole’s body was discovered.
Assistant Public Defender Shane Manship said his client took responsibility.
“He unjustly tortured and killed Cynthia Cole, who by all appearances was a wonderful woman with family and friends who love her.”
Cole’s daughter Ashley Bevensee said Demich had been in her life for years and he had told her that Cole was “like a second mother to him”.
“I will never understand how you do that to someone you call a second mother,” she said in court.
Bevensee added that she looks behind her shower curtain, “like I’m a little kid again, looking for monsters under my bed.
“It broke my family and having already lost our father nine years ago, if I ever get married, none of them will be there.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6023392/handyman-life-sentence-murder-keoki-demich-cynthia-cole-florida/ Important update in the grisly case of a murderous handyman who hid in the victim’s shower before burying her underground in a septic tank