Priest to Face Firing Squad for Death of Lover and Children

Jakarta. A two-decade-long tragedy born of shame in East Nusa Tenggara took another step toward finality on Tuesday after the Supreme Court imposed the death penalty on a former Catholic priest for the deaths of his lover, a former nun, and their two newborn children.

“I’m not pro capital punishment, but for things like this we need deterrence so that people will not carry out these murders, which are rampant everywhere now,” Supreme Court justice Gayus Lumbuun said on Tuesday. “This verdict is necessary and must be carried out.”

Herman Jumat Masan, 45, was first found guilty of the murder of his first child with lover Yosephine Kerodok Payong — also known as Mery Grace — at Maumere District Court in August, 2013. The prosecutor appealed the case to the provincial Kupang High Court, which confirmed the life sentence.

The Supreme Court, however, sided with the prosecutor’s second appeal, and said that Herman should face the firing squad for the death of his first child — adding that the man’s callous decision to prevent his hemorrhaging girlfriend from seeking medical care was an aggravating factor in their decision.

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