Adam Matos found guilty of quadruple murders

Last Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017, 4:32 PM EST

A Pasco County jury on Thursday found Adam Matos guilty on four counts of first-degree murder.

The 32-year-old man had been accused of killing former girlfriend Megan Brown, her new boyfriend Nicholas Leonard, and Brown's parents, Greg and Margaret, in late August 2014 in Hudson.

The sentencing phase in the trial in New Port Richey will begin Monday at 9:30 a.m. Matos could face the death penalty.

For Daniel Leonard, Nicholas's father, whether Matos is sentenced to death is beside the point.

"Either way, his life is over," Daniel said outside of the courtroom. "That's bascially all we can really ask for."

Jurors, who took about three hours to reach the verdict, were told Thursday to continue to avoid news reports and social media posts about the case.

After the verdict was announced, some people inside the courtroom wept and placed their hands on the shoulders of others.

Matos took the stand Wednesday and admitted to the slayings but also described a scene of self-defense.

He told the court he moved to Florida with the Brown family under the impression that he and the mother of his child, Megan Brown, were going to make a go of it.

But Matos said tension ensued when he found out Brown was seeing another man, and he answered several questions about the killings and the moving of the bodies to a wooded area not far from the home.

For relatives of the victims like Daniel Leonard, sitting in court during the trial was an ordeal. In particular, listening to Matos's description of self-defense was difficult.

"There was a lot of anger going on back there," Daniel said. "We were all pretty upset about it."

On Thursday, the judge in the case spent about an hour delivering instructions to the jury, and jury members then left the courtroom before 11:30 a.m.

The prosecution said Megan Brown was shot through the eye and that her mother was found beaten to death with a hammer. Leonard was beaten so badly that his skull was caved in, according to the prosecution, who said Matos spent hours if not days trying to clean everything up.

Matos also used Brown's credit card to buy a video game system, pizza and a shovel, prosecutors said, adding that he sold the family's puppies and allowed the buyers inside the home while the bodies were still inside.

Adam Matos after his August 2014 arrest.

It took four days to seat the jury of 12. What made the jury process particularly difficult was this being a death penalty case.

Under Florida law, any death penalty sentence must be approved unanimously by the jury.

In court throughout the trial, Matos sat next to his attorneys, clean-shaven and wearing a suit, looking very different than he did back in 2014 when he was arrested and charged with the brutal murders.