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Sebastian man sentenced to life in prison for killing his fiancée

Michael Despres told detectives he planned to kill Jeanine Bishop days before he strangled her
Michael Despres Sebastian Courtroom April 24, 2023
Posted at 1:27 PM, Apr 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-24 18:13:05-04

SEBASTIAN, Fla. — A Sebastian handyman has avoided the death penalty for the killing of his fiancée back in 2021.

Michael Despres was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole Monday morning as part of a plea deal.

He told detectives he planned to kill Jeanine Bishop days before he strangled her, eventually leaving her body in a pickup truck outside of a Walmart in Sebastian.

Despres walked into the store and told a manager of an "emergency involving his fiancée in the parking lot."

RELATED: Man confesses to killing 67-year-old fiancée, leaving body inside truck at Sebastian Walmart, police say

In the arrest report, it was learned that after the killing, Despres placed bishop's body on a bed in the home’s master bedroom, and slept in the same bed before moving her body the next day.

"The next of kin was very clear that they did not want to see a trial in this case," Brian Workman, assistant state attorney, said. "They wanted swift justice, they didn't want this to be dragged out."

Before the sentencing, Despres' family members said he had suffered a head injury that may have contributed to his behavior.

Loved ones for the victim said outside the courtroom they didn’t choose to say anything as it wouldn't have changed the outcome.